Organizational Change, Patient-Focused Care: An Australian Perspective

Jeffrey Braithwaite*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hospitals throughout the world are attempting to improve organizational performance through a variety of means. The focus in this paper is on a leading teaching hospital in Australia for a review of current management strategy. In a time of shrinking resources, management adopted a multi-faceted change management program including restructuring the organization, becoming more patient-focused via a product-line management approach and emphasising efficiency and cost-reduction measures. The next stage in management thinking is to place greater emphasis on patient-focused care. It is concluded this has the propensity to yield substantial further benefits, including improved financial and quality of care outcomes, in the Australian as well as the British and wider Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) context. ‘Professionally, we have committed ourselves to creating caring environments that promote healing. We cannot meet this goal until we make a commitment to be patient-focused and give up being nurse-focused or facility-focused’ (Kerfort and LeClair, 1991). ‘In a customer-driven [organization], the distribution of roles is different. The organization is decentralized, with responsibility delegated to those who until now have comprised the order-obeying bottom level of the pyramid. The traditional, hierarchical corporate structure, in other words, is beginning to give way to a flattened, more horizontal structure’ (Carlzon, 1987).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-185
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Services Management Research
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

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