Enablers for allied health front-line managers in public health environments to deliver sustainable patient care

Ms Gemma Turato1, Dr Florin Oprescu2

1Sunshine Coast Hospital And Health Service, Birtinya, Australia, 2University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia

Many allied health managers do not feel equipped to face the challenges of evolving business environments such as public hospitals. The increasing demand on public hospitals due to chronicity of disease, an aging population and rising health costs require managers to be resourceful, adaptable, influential and innovative. The research on this topic is scarce with a lack of robust research studies specific to allied health front-line managers working in public healthcare settings. Hence, any healthcare setting was included in the literature search using Scopus, PubMed, PsychINFO, CINAHL, ProQuest and Google Scholar databases for articles published between January 2000 and November 2019. This resulted in 22 studies that met the criteria. Nine potential enablers for allied health front-line managers to be more effective and better prepared for working in complex and challenging healthcare environments such as public hospitals were identified. These included; incorporating effective leadership styles, leadership attributes and characteristics for working in health, allied health structure, representation of allied health in contexts of influence, associations / network and organisational support, evidence based and tailored allied health programs, measurable and robust feedback on performance and succession planning for the future. By identifying potential enablers, key strategies, resources and supports could be developed for allied health front-line managers working in complex settings such as public hospitals, that ultimately lead to improvements in patient safety, quality and experience. More research with front-line allied health managers in practice is required to explore and validate the identified enablers and how to enact them.


Has worked in healthcare for over 30 years in clinical and management roles. Her passion was in management and she has held senior management roles in allied health over the past 6 years, with the most recent being the Executive Director of Allied Health at the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service. Gemma is also completing her PhD part-time and is at the end stage of this and is excited about sharing some of the findings.

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