Essay on Quality Health Care

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Qual Health Care 2001;10:40-48 doi:10.1136/qhc.10.1.40 * Viewpoint
Management matters: the link between hospital organisation and quality of patient care 1. Elizabeth West, senior research fellow
+ Author Affiliations 1. Royal College of Nursing, Radcliffe Infirmary, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX1 6HE, UK 1. Dr E West * Accepted 21 December 2000 Next Section
Some hospital trusts and health authorities consistently outperform others on different dimensions of performance. Why? There is some evidence that “management matters”, as well as the combined efforts of individual clinicians and teams. However, studies that have been conducted on the link between the organisation
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However, these reports are similarly concerned with issues of motivating, engaging, and rewarding staff which may be linked to patient outcomes as well as to business success. Greater attention to the work that has been done on organisational performance, broadly defined, could illuminate our attempts to link the characteristics of hospitals and units to the kind of care they are able to provide to patients.
Of course, the disciplines of organisational sociology and human resource management are vast and the aims of this paper are modest. It is impossible to treat the literature on these subjects in great depth here. The main aim of this paper is to identify a number of “landmark studies”, defined as frequently cited review articles, that try to make sense of the burgeoning literature on organisational performance. These studies could contribute to the development of theory in this area. A second aim is to identify variables at different levels of analysis—individual, organisational, and environmental—that could be used in future models of hospital organisation and quality of patient care.
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