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Journal cover: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Online from: 1988

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Healthcare professionals' experiences of the implementation of integrated care pathways


Document Information:
Title:Healthcare professionals' experiences of the implementation of integrated care pathways
Author(s):Catherine Hogan, (South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, Ireland), Maria Barry, (South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, Ireland), Mary Burke, (South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, Ireland), Pauline Joyce, (Institute of Leadership and Healthcare Management, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland)
Citation:Catherine Hogan, Maria Barry, Mary Burke, Pauline Joyce, (2011) "Healthcare professionals' experiences of the implementation of integrated care pathways", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 24 Iss: 5, pp.334 - 347
Keywords:Health care, Quality improvement, Resources
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09526861111139179 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on a study that explores healthcare professionals' experiences of the implementation of integrated care pathways (ICPs).

Design/methodology/approach – This study used a phenomenological research approach with a purposive sample of ten multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals across two acute hospitals in Ireland. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews and analysed using Colazzi's framework.

Findings – The findings of the study are presented under four themes: buy-in from all disciplines, multidisciplinary communication, service-user involvement, and audit of ICPs. These themes emanated from the questions asked at interview.

Research limitations/implications – The limitations of the study include the small sample size and the use of two different interviewers across the sites. The inexperience of the interviewers is acknowledged as a limitation as the probing of some questions could have been improved. In addition the themes of the findings were predetermined by the use of the interview guide.

Practical implications – Changes in existing institutional structures and cultures are required when introducing ICPs. It is necessary for senior management in organisations to lead by example. They also need to identify where support can be offered, such as in the provision of an ICP facilitator, education sessions in relation to ICPs and the development of strategies to improve multi-disciplinary buy-in and participation.

Originality/value – The findings of this study respond to a gap in the literature in Ireland on the experiences of healthcare professionals who have implemented ICPs. Key findings of the study are the perception that the doctor is pivotal in driving the implementation of ICPs, yet the doctor was not always interested in this responsibility.



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