Assessing The Culture of Medical Group Practices

Institute for Health Services Research, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.
Medical Care (Impact Factor: 3.23). 06/1996; 34(5):377-88. DOI: 10.1097/00005650-199605000-00001
Source: PubMed


This study was designed to identify the relevant components of the organizational culture of medical group practices and to develop an instrument to measure those cultures. Building on the work of industrial psychologists and organizational sociologists, a 35-item instrument was developed through an iterative process with more than 100 medical groups. The final instrument was tested using responses from physicians practicing in two very different medical groups: one a prepaid group practice with salaried physicians and the other, until recently, a fee-for-service practice. Using stepwise discriminant analysis of the responses to this instrument, more than 90% of the physicians were able to be placed in the appropriate practice setting.

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    • "It uses underlying issues in health care (such as the need for more efficacy, safety, and quality of care) that are major issues in all western countries [28]. Kralewski et al. [27] identified nine relevant organizational culture dimensions in medical group practices. Kralewski's questionnaire has been used among medical group practices, but originated from Reynolds [29] which reviewed five major publications about organizational cultures in industry. "
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    ABSTRACT: The demands in hospitals for safety and quality, combined with limitations in financing health care require effective cooperation between physicians and managers. The complex relationship between both groups has been described in literature. We aim to add a perspective to literature, by developing a questionnaire which provides an opportunity to quantitatively report and elaborate on the size and content of differences between physicians and managers. Insight gained from use of the questionnaire might enable us to reflect on these differences and could provide practical tools to improve cooperation between physicians and managers, with an aim to enhance hospital performance. The CG-Questionnaire was developed by adjusting, pre-testing, and shortening Kralewski's questionnaire, and appeared suitable to measure culture gaps. It was shortened by exploratory factor analysis, using principal-axis factoring extraction with Varimax rotation. The CG-Questionnaire was sent to all physicians and managers within 37 Dutch general hospitals. ANOVA and paired sample T-tests were used to determine significant differences between perceptions of daily work practices based in both professional cultures; culture gaps. The size and content of culture gaps were determined with descriptive statistics. The total response (27%) consisted of 929 physicians and 310 managers. The Cronbachs alpha's were 0.70 - 0.79. Statistical analyses showed many differences; culture gaps were found in the present situation; they were even larger in the preferred situation. Differences between both groups can be classified into three categories: (1) culture gaps in the present situation and not in the preferred, (2) culture gaps in the preferred situation and not in the present, and (3) culture gaps in both situations. With data from the CG-Questionnaire it is now possible to measure the size and content of culture gaps between physicians and managers in hospitals. Results gained with the CG-Questionnaire enables hospitals to reflect on these differences. Combining the results, we distinguished three categories of increasing complexity. We linked these three categories to three methods from intergroup literature (enhanced information, contact and ultimately meta cognition) which could help to improve the cooperation between physicians and managers.
    BMC Health Services Research 04/2010; 10:86. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-10-86 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    • "meaningful measures of outcomes, and/or (3) addresses the culture of only one organization. Indeed, only a handful of studies have examined either the structure or culture of physician group practices (Kralewski et al. 1996, 1998; Shortell, Alexander et al. 2001; Williams et al. 2002) and only one has considered the relationship between organizational culture and the satisfaction of physicians working in group practice settings (Williams et al. 2002). Our study is a significant departure from the previous published accounts of health care organizational culture insofar as we address the analytic question of the relationship of organizational culture and physician satisfaction with the managerial and organizational capabilities of the groups in which they work. "
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the extent to which the organizational culture of physician group practices is associated with individual physician satisfaction with the managerial and organizational capabilities of the groups. Physician surveys from 1997 to 1998 assessing the culture of their medical groups and their satisfaction with six aspects of group practice. Organizational culture was conceptualized using the Competing Values framework, yielding four distinct cultural types. Physician-level data were aggregated to the group level to attain measures of organizational culture. Using hierarchical linear modeling, individual physician satisfaction with six dimensions of group practice was predicted using physician-level variables and group-level variables. Separate models for each of the four cultural types were estimated for each of the six satisfaction measures, yielding a total of 24 models. SAMPLE STUDIED: Fifty-two medical groups affiliated with 12 integrated health systems from across the U.S., involving 1,593 physician respondents (38.3 percent response rate). Larger medical groups and multispecialty groups were over-represented compared with the U.S. as a whole. Our models explain up to 31 percent of the variance in individual physician satisfaction with group practice, with individual organizational culture scales explaining up to 5 percent of the variance. Group-level predictors: group (i.e., participatory) culture was positively associated with satisfaction with staff and human resources, technological sophistication, and price competition. Hierarchical (i.e., bureaucratic) culture was negatively associated with satisfaction with managerial decision making, practice level competitiveness, price competition, and financial capabilities. Rational (i.e., task-oriented) culture was negatively associated with satisfaction with staff and human resources, and price competition. Developmental (i.e., risk-taking) culture was not significantly associated with any of the satisfaction measures. In some of the models, being a single-specialty group (compared with a primary care group) and a group having a higher percent of male physicians were positively associated with satisfaction with financial capabilities. Physician-level predictors: individual physicians' ratings of organizational culture were significantly related to many of the satisfaction measures. In general, older physicians were more satisfied than younger physicians with many of the satisfaction measures. Male physicians were less satisfied with data capabilities. Primary care physicians (versus specialists) were less satisfied with price competition. Some dimensions of physician organizational culture are significantly associated with various aspects of individual physician satisfaction with group practice.
    Health Services Research 07/2007; 42(3 Pt 1):1150-76. DOI:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2006.00648.x · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The culture of medical group practices is gaining increasing attention as one of the most important organizational factors influencing the costs and quality of health care. Based on organizational theory, we propose that the culture of the practice differs depending on size, ownership, location, and the number of medical specialties. A survey was sent to 1223 physicians in 191 clinics in the upper Midwest. The clinic response rate was 77%. The survey instrument identifies 9 culture dimensions, each with 3 to 6 measurement statements. Smaller clinics had higher scores on 6 of the 9 dimensions. Physician-owned clinics had higher scores on 4 of the 9 dimensions, whereas system-owned clinics had a higher score on only 1 dimension. Only 1 dimension differed among the locations. Single-specialty clinics had higher scores on 4 dimensions and multispecialty clinics had higher scores on 2 dimensions. Our data confirm the contention that the culture of medical group practices varies considerably; to a degree, this variance is as predicted by organizational theory. The culture changes as group practices become larger and more complex through diversification into multispecialty practices or become part of larger health care systems.
    The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice / American Board of Family Practice 09/2003; 16(5):394-8. DOI:10.3122/jabfm.16.5.394
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