Creating a visible shift in health care quality using empirical tools

Supporting the Health Sector

Our Health leaders are some of the most influential leaders we have come across. They engage with others to influence health and well-being and the quality of care for birth, illness and the end of life.

Leadership within health systems across the world is now widely recognised to be the primary driver of organisational culture, staff satisfaction and ultimately patient care. While it's recognised, in our experience, leaders in the health sector receive significantly less support and resources to develop their leadership capability than their clinical capability.

We have worked with health sector leaders for over a decade and understand the extreme pressures they are under to lead effective teams through an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment. We wanted to create something that would help leaders to gain confidence around their strengths that were identified by others; offer some reassurance in many of their capabilities, and also help raise their attention to any blindspots that if they focus on and develop would have a massive impact on themselves, their teams, and patient care.

Whilst there are many wonderful leadership assessment tools on the market, none were Health Industry specific, so we set out to develop HILCA 360, an all in one assessment tool that empirically measures Leadership Capability against the Australian Health LEADS framework, as well as measurement against the NSQHS.

To ensure leaders are having a measurable impact we developed the HISCA to assess team capability, culture, staff engagement and patient experience. This all in one assessment allows organisations to compare site performance and understand where specific focus is required.

Whilst data may not be exciting to some, we view data as telling us the Human Story. Patterns and themes can then help in influencing decisions in the industry. Choosing HILCA 360 and HISCA is not only good for your organisation but for the whole sector. Data will be treated compassionately and confidentially and themes extrapolated to one day influence Government policy, funding and provide industry bench-marking.

Leadership Capability influences Staff Engagement

Case Study: Leadership influences Staff Engagement

The Minister for Health’s “Your Voice in Health” Engagement Survey 2019 indicated dissatisfaction and low engagement within specific wards and teams of a Service Area spanning across three hospitals. A new service director was appointed, an Appreciative Inquiry was conducted and a Quality Improvement Initiative was implemented, however they lacked consistency and ownership from the front line. The Engagement Survey indicated issues with leadership and it was apparent that they needed to better understand the leadership capability at each level and within each area to better target their efforts.

The leaders across all three hospitals participated in HILCA 360. The results provided evidence that the hospital with the lowest engagement also had leaders with the lowest leadership capability as demonstrated below.

HILCA 360 not only confirmed that the leadership capability was a contributing factor to engagement, but pinpointed the areas that needed development. Tailored leadership development initiatives were created with the aim of supporting those leaders tasked with transforming engagement and culture.


HILCA 360 is a reliable and valid 360 degree assessment of leadership capability correlated to the Health LEADS Australia Framework that identifies the biggest strengths and gaps at all levels. It provides individuals and organisations the opportunity to transform leadership effectiveness by understanding current views, beliefs and behaviours and exploring alternative views. It provides leaders with feedback on how they are currently influencing the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards targeted at patient focused care. It also sets very clear development goals for leaders, based on their own feedback and the feedback from others, to strive towards in 12 months time.

HILCA 360 offers organisations:

  • an independent, reliable and valid assessment of leadership capability
  • access to industry bench-marking data base
  • increased ROI in leadership development
  • highly tailored and comprehensive professional development resources for participants

"HILCA has dramatically changed the way I deal with people. I know why I react the way I do and I can now stop and think about it before I respond. It’s been really helpful at the moment with everything going on [with COVID-19] as I’ve worked harder and longer than I ever have in my career."

Nurse Unit Manager, HILCA Participant



HISCA is the assessment tool specifically designed for teams in the health industry. HISCA is the window through which we can see the correlations between staff capability, engagement, and their ability to deliver high quality care, assessed through self and customer feedback.

HISCA assesses the service level quality of one team, by collecting feedback from leadership, team members and patients. It’s a comprehensive assessment that measures

  • Care Capability
  • Employee Engagement
  • Organisational Culture
  • Customer Satisfaction & Patient Experience

Combining all of these measures shines a spotlight on the most significant gaps for the team and organisational capability, engagement, culture and provision of care. It enables the team to generate an enquiry into what they need to do, and create together to enable extra-ordinary patient outcomes.

Case Study: Leadership influence on Service Capability

A Ward of 48 staff participated in HISCA to identify the capability gaps that need to be closed in order to improve patient outcomes and overall service quality. To provide further insight, the leader also participated in the HILCA 360 to understand her contribution to the current team situation.

The biggest leadership gaps for the leader of this team directly link with the team’s biggest capability gaps. As seen below, she needs to provide clear feedback, deal with poor behaviour and manage team conflict, to enable the team to better deal with conflict, celebrate success and maintain consistency with patient care.

"The only mistake in life is the lesson not learned"

- Albert Einstein



One of our passionate team members either at Veraison or will be happy to answer any questions you have about the HILCA 360 or HISCA, and would be delighted to discuss your organisation's needs further.


Abby Hunt

General Manager, Veraison

+61 447 817 891

Stephen Dunstan

General Manager,

+61 409 324 692