Organizational Coherence in Health Care Organizations: Conceptual Guidance to Facilitate Quality Improvement and Organizational Change

School of Public Health, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Queensland, Australia (Dr Brown)
Quality management in health care 04/2013; 2013, 22(2):86-99. DOI: 10.1097/QMH.0b013e31828bc37d
Source: PubMed


We sought to improve our understanding of how health care quality improvement (QI) methods and innovations could be efficiently and effectively translated between settings to reduce persistent gaps in health care quality both within and across countries. We aimed to examine whether we could identify a core set of organizational cultural attributes, independent of context and setting, which might be associated with success in implementing and sustaining QI systems in health care organizations.

We convened an international group of investigators to explore the issues of organizational culture and QI in different health care contexts and settings. This group met in person 3 times and held a series of conference calls to discuss emerging ideas over 2 years. Investigators also conducted pilot studies in their home countries to examine the applicability of our conceptual model.

Results and conclusions:
We suggest that organizational coherence may be a critical element of QI efforts in health care organizations and propose that there are 3 key components of organizational coherence: (1) people, (2) processes, and (3) perspectives. Our work suggests that the concept of organizational coherence embraces both culture and context and can thus help guide both researchers and practitioners in efforts to enhance health care QI efforts, regardless of organizational type, location, or context.

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