LEFO - Legeforskningsinstituttet

Institute for Studies of the Medical Profession

IPOQ 2013: Research on health and working conditions of the medical profession

Fredrik Bååthe

Engaging physicians in organizational improvement work
7. november 2013

Fredrik Bååthe’s affiliation is Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University and Institute of stress medicine, VGR, Göteborg. He was the head of the Accident & Emergency Department at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, 2004-2009. He now divides his time between research and a role at the Regional Health Authorities, participating in the creation of a national quality registry for primary healthcare. Complexity science combined with pragmatic social psychology provides theoretical inspiration in his qualitative research project about engaging physicians in organizational improvement work. Educational background from the Master of science program in industrial engineering and management, with specialization in logistics and supply-chain optimization. Fredrik has three kids (boys), wife (physiotherapist) and a bernese mountain dog called Charlie.

Engaging physicians in organizational improvement work
Collaborator Lars Erik Norbäck, Sweden

INTRODUCTION: Limited physician participation in organizational improvement work seems to be a recurring issue in the western world, at the same time as managers and researchers agree that physician’s engagement is necessary to improve healthcare from within. Managers need to engage physicians in organizational development work. Physicians and managers have different mindsets/professional identities, which hinder effective communication. Our aim is to explore how this situation can be transformed. MATERIAL AND METHODS: 25 individual interviews with clinical active physicians. First we use a grounded theory analysis of the interviews to gain a deeper understanding how physicians view their engagement in healthcare development. Thereafter we further the analysis and discuss professional identities/mindsets from three theoretical perspectives, and explore the professional identities/mindsets of physicians and managers. RESULTS: If managers want physicians to engage in improvements, they must learn to understand and appreciate physician identity. This might challenge managers’ identity. We show how managers - primarily in a Swedish context - could act to facilitate physician engagement. This in turn might challenge physician identity.We outline and give concrete examples of what organizational leaders need to consider to sustainably engage physicians in health-care improvement. CONCLUSIONS: We provide an alternative to the prevailing managerial control perspective. The alternative is simple, yet complex and challenging, and as we understand it, necessary for health care to evolve, from within.

Look at Fredrik Bååthe´s presentation in the attached file.
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