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Clinical Leadership as an Agent for Change: A Health System Improvement Intervention in Curaçao.

  • Busari, Jamiu O1, 2
  • Yaldiz, Huriye3
  • Gans, Reinold O B4
  • Duits, Ashley J5, 6, 7
  • 1 Department of Pediatrics, Horacio Oduber Hospital, Oranjestad, Aruba. , (Aruba)
  • 2 Department of Educational Development and Research, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, the Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 3 Faculty of Medical Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 4 Department of Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 5 Red Cross Blood Bank Foundation, Willemstad, Curaçao. , (Curaçao)
  • 6 Institute for Medical Education, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands. , (Netherlands)
  • 7 Department of Medical Education, Curaçao Medical Center, Willemstad, Curaçao. , (Curaçao)
Published Article
Journal of multidisciplinary healthcare
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.2147/JMDH.S262415
PMID: 32884278


The healthcare system in Curaçao is complex, fragmented, and poorly organized and typifies a system in a resource-limited environment. Deficits in competencies and local cultural barriers are factors that hinder sustainable healthcare in such settings and a failure to meet WHO sustainable development goals. This study reports the potential cost-effectiveness and improved health outcomes of the first stage of a healthcare improvement project. The intervention, which is a multidisciplinary team-based leadership training program (MLP), reflects a promising strategy to tackle local healthcare needs. A Multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals in St. Elisabeth hospital, Curaçao, was selected to 1) participate in the MLP and 2) co-design a healthcare pathway on the management of decubitus ulcers. Using a qualitative research methodology, we conducted interviews to assess the perceived leadership growth, teamwork, and the barriers to the introduction of the new care pathway in their setting. Six themes were identified that explained the perceived leadership development and interprofessional collaboration. These included 1) Professional background, 2) Healthcare pathway design, 3) Resources, 4) Personal development, 5) Collaboration 6) Execution. The participants valued the interdisciplinary approach of this health improvement project and acknowledged the added value of a training program that also addressed personal growth. This study shows how MLPs for health professionals can also serve as catalysts for health improvement efforts in resource-limited environments. © 2020 Busari et al.

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