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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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Swedish healthcare management practices and quality improvement work: development trends


Document Information:
Title:Swedish healthcare management practices and quality improvement work: development trends
Author(s):Mattias Elg, (Division of Quality Management and Technology, HELIX Research Centre, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden), Jesper Stenberg, (Medical Management Centre, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden), Peter Kammerlind, (Qulturum, County Council of Jönköping, Jönköping, Sweden), Sofia Tullberg, (Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, Stockholm, Sweden), Jesper Olsson, (Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, Stockholm, Sweden)
Citation:Mattias Elg, Jesper Stenberg, Peter Kammerlind, Sofia Tullberg, Jesper Olsson, (2011) "Swedish healthcare management practices and quality improvement work: development trends", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 24 Iss: 2, pp.101 - 123
Keywords:Health services, Management technique, Quality, Sweden
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/09526861111105077 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine developmental trends in healthcare organisation management practice and improvement work.

Design/methodology/approach – Primary healthcare centre (n=1,031) and clinical hospital department (n=1,542) managers were surveyed in spring 2007 (response rate 46 per cent). This article compares results from this survey with a study in 2003. A theoretical framework based on organisational inner context, organisational outer context, external environment and outcomes form the analytical base. Comparisons were made using independent two-sample t-tests.

Findings – A general aspect, identified empirically, is the tendency toward increased external pressure on leaders in their improvement work. Higher management decisions, patient pressure and decisions made by policymakers increasingly influence and shape the choices made by healthcare managers about where to focus improvement efforts. Three different trends are empirically identified and elaborated: take-control logic; practice-based improvement; and patient-centeredness.

Research limitations/implications – Healthcare leaders should carefully design new management control systems that support healthcare micro systems. Findings support the general assumption that staff increasingly tend to focus organisational changes on management control.

Originality/value – This study extends management research with a unique survey. Through two measurements made in 2003 and 2007, several important trends about how healthcare organisations are managed and developed are identified.



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