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ABSTRACT: Organizational culture is a determinant for quality improvement. This paper aims to assess organizational culture in a hospital setting, understand its relationship with perceptions about quality of care and identify areas for improvement. The paper is based on a cross-sectional survey in a large clinical department that used two validated questionnaires. The first contained 20 items addressing perceptions of cultural typology (64 respondents). The second one assessed staff views on quality improvement implementation (48 faculty) in three domains: leadership, information and analysis and human resource utilization (employee satisfaction). All four cultural types received scoring, from a mean of 17.5 (group), 13.7 (developmental), 31.2 (rational) to 37.2 (hierarchical). The latter was the dominant cultural type. Group (participatory) and developmental (open) culture types had significant positive correlation with optimistic perceptions about leadership (r = 0.48 and 0.55 respectively, p < 0.00). Hierarchical (bureaucratic) culture was significantly negatively correlated with domains; leadership (r = -0.61,p < 0.00), information and analysis (-0.50, p < 0.00) and employee satisfaction (r = -0.55, p < 0.00). Responses reveal a need for leadership to better utilize suggestions for improving quality of care, strengthening the process of information analysis and encouraging reward and recognition for employees. It is likely that, by adopting a participatory and open culture, staff views about organizational leadership will improve and employee satisfaction will be enhanced. This finding has implications for quality care implementation in other hospital settings. The paper bridges an important gap in the literature by addressing the relationship between culture and quality care perceptions in a Pakistani hospital. As such a new and informative perspective is added.International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance 01/2009; 22(5):498-513.
Aga Khan University Hospital, KarachiKurrachee, Sindh, Pakistan