The top 10 healthcare leadership books you need to read for working in a post-COVID world

Stephanie Shufelt, MBA

Founder of

The top 10 healthcare leadership books you need to read for working in a post-COVID world

9 February 2022 | 6min

We at Healthcare Transformers understand that change is never easy, and given the times we know this is something on everybody’s mind. So to help you through this transition into the new ways of working, we have compiled a list of books to help leaders in healthcare keep up with the new workforce culture as we approach a new era after the pandemic.

No matter what industry you work in, one thing that has become clear is that the way we work has completely changed. With COVID-19, leadership teams now must address these contemporary and dynamic ways of working within their organizations to ensure that employees, customers and other stakeholders are supported and their needs are met.  We hope our list of books will help guide you through this transformation whether you work in healthcare or not.

On our list, you will find books addressing topics including digital healthcare transformation, considerations for health design and how leaders can connect with employees to improve the well-being for themselves and the medical community during these challenging times.

*Listed in alphabetical order

1. Connected Leadership: Engage Your Workforce to Lead Themselves by Francis Eberle 

Collaboration is the key for organizations to be successful. It is now more important than ever to focus on communication and transparency. Starting with the leadership team, personnel can work together more efficiently in order to create a thriving ecosystem. 

This book provides information on sharing the decision-making process with the entire team and gives insights on when leaders should step up or step back, with the ultimate goal of teams being able to lead themselves.

2. Health Design Thinking: Creating Products and Services for Better Health by Bon Ku and Ellen Lupton

Innovation is the key to advancing healthcare. To increase patient accessibility, decrease costs and improve outcomes, organizations need to identify which products and services need reimagining. 

This book highlights the utilization of principles of design thinking to real-world challenges in the medical industry from a wide array of use cases, from drug packaging to internet-connected devices for breast cancer detection.

3. Healthcare Digital Transformation: How Consumerism, Technology and Pandemic are Accelerating the Future by Edward W. Marx and Paddy Padmanabhan

As we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare is becoming more digitally focused where clinicians and patients can gain unprecedented access to a wide array of information, from telehealth to virtual care and beyond.

Based on interviews with over 150 executives in leading health systems, this book offers a foundational framework for organizations and taps into how digital healthcare is pushing the boundaries of innovation. 

4. Innovating for Wellness: Bridging the Gap between Health System and Patient by Robert L. Longyear III

New advances in mobile and digital technology are changing how we deliver care to patients and are helping to develop novel payment models to improve patient outcomes. As this transformation continues, leaders need to become aware of how these advances can improve the healthcare industry.

This book provides innovators with ways to connect healthcare with the patient for the best possible outcomes. It also offers insights into the changing landscape of innovative digital health technology, revolutionizing healthcare from reactive to proactive and practicality for reaching tangible and strategic goals for the entire medical community.

5. It’s Hard to be Easy: The Competitive Advantage of Clearing All Paths for Your Customers by Diane Serbin Hopkins

In healthcare, the customer is the patient. When these customers find it difficult to navigate a healthcare system through friction points, this can easily deter patients to joining another competitor. Leaders need to be willing to adapt their processes and avoid the Friction-Defection Progression.

This book discusses ways to prevent customer defection, which can be adapted to the healthcare industry and improve the patient experience. Gaining insights from other industries is a great way for healthcare leaders to think outside of the box. 

In another Healthcare Transformers article, the author Diane Hopkins provides steps on how to incorporate these procedures and reduce patient friction points.

6. The Art of Healthcare Innovation: Interviews and Industry Insights from 35 Game-Changing Pioneers by Christina D. Warner

The healthcare industry is changing at an exponential rate. New discoveries are being made every minute and as new health crises arise, innovators will step up to the plate and find novel ways to combat diseases like COVID-19.

This book is based on interviews and insights from stakeholders and thought leaders in the healthcare industry discussing how innovation is changing the field of medicine.

7. The Busy Leader’s Handbook: How To Lead People and Places That Thrive by Quint Studer 

Organizational challenges can affect the success of a business, which is why having key leadership skills can help lead to growth, positive employee engagement and a culture that is welcoming. Unfortunately, leaders are constantly being pulled in every direction and find little time to address these issues. 

As a quick guide to effective leadership, this book provides practical advice, tips and tactics on how good leaders start as good followers, the power of mentoring, bringing in the best talent and the skills to resolve conflict.

8. The Engagement Ring: Practical Leadership Skills for Engaging Your Employees by Lee Ann Pond 

Staying engaged with your team is important to keep up productivity and morale, and boost employee retention rates. Leadership groups now need to find new ways to ensure their employees’ needs are being met.

In this book, the author provides a guidebook on how “to create more fulfilled, productive, and happier teams – all without spending a dime.”

9. Work Better Together: How to Cultivate Strong Relationships to Maximize Well-Being and Boost Bottom Lines by Jen Fisher and Anh Phillips

As employees begin to enter the workforce in-person following COVID-19, focusing on physical and mental health are important factors when rebuilding company culture. Establishing a supportive dynamic in the workplace can lead to better positive habits.

In this book, the authors offer ways to cultivate strong relationships to increase productivity, job satisfaction and self-esteem for employees, from those who are returning to the office to individuals who are still working remotely.

10. WorkforceRx: Agile and Inclusive Strategies for Employers, Educators and Workers in Unsettled Times by Van Ton-Quinlivan

The pandemic brought with it many uncertainties about how companies will adapt to the new remote workforce. Inclusivity has become an important aspect for leaders to consider because diversity and equity can bring about novel and sustainable innovations in the healthcare industry.

This book highlights methods to gaining skilled workers, developing partnerships, growing an inclusive workforce and understanding strategies to connect with the community. 

The pandemic has completely changed the way we work, so leaders need to reevaluate their organizational strategies, ensuring that their teams are being supported and included. These books will give you, as healthcare leaders, insights into how to positively change the dynamics of your team so that you can stay ahead of the curve and bring lasting improvements not only to your employees but to the patients they serve.

Happy Reading!

Don’t have enough time in a day to sit down and read? Instead of these books, try listening to a healthcare podcast. It’s an easy and simple way to stay on top of everything that is taking the healthcare industry by storm. Check out our list of top healthcare podcasts that executives should be listening to here.

Stephanie Shufelt, MBA is one of the editors and founders of She is dedicated to delivering high quality content on the topic of the future of healthcare to our readers.

Welcome to HealthcareTransformers!

Stay at the forefront of the healthcare transformation.

Subscribe to our newsletter now.