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Workshops as a useful tool to better understand care professionals’ views of a lean change program

Pascale A.M. Simons (Patient Safety Research Group, Faculty of Business Economics, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium)
Jos Benders (Centre for Sociological Research (CESO), KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)
Wim Marneffe (Faculty of Business Economics, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium)
Madelon Pijls-Johannesma (Radiation Oncology (MAASTRO), Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands)
Dominique Vandijck (Patient Safety Research Group, Faculty of Business Economics, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Publication date: 9 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

For change programs to succeed, it is vital to have a detailed understanding of employees’ views regarding the program, especially when the proposed changes are potentially contested. Gaining insight into employee perceptions helps managers to decide how to proceed. The authors conducted two workshops in a radiotherapy institute to assess the benefits and drawbacks, as well as their underlying causes, of a proposed Lean change program. Managers’ views on the workshops’ usefulness were charted. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Two workshops were organized in which employees predicted positive and negative effects of a Lean program. The workshops combined a structured brainstorm (KJ-technique) and an evaluation of the expected effects. Eight top managers judged the workshops’ value on supporting decision making.

Findings

In total, 15 employees participated in the workshops. Participants from workshop 2 reported more expected effects (27 effects; 18 positive) than from workshop 1 (14 effects; six positive). However, when effects were categorized, similar results were shown. Three from eight managers scored the results relevant for decision making and four neutral. Seven managers recommended future use of the instrument. Increased employee involvement and bottom-up thinking combined with relatively low costs were appreciated most.

Practical implications

The workshop could serve as a simple instrument to improve decision making and enhance successful implementation of change programs, as it was expected to enhance employees’ involvement and was relatively easy to conduct and cheap.

Originality/value

The workshop increased insight into employee views, facilitating adaptive actions by healthcare organization managers.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the radiotherapy clinic managers for facilitating and actively participating in this study. Special thanks to Petra Reijnders and Claudia Offermann who piloted the workshop and to all the employees who participated.

Citation

Simons, P.A.M., Benders, J., Marneffe, W., Pijls-Johannesma, M. and Vandijck, D. (2015), "Workshops as a useful tool to better understand care professionals’ views of a lean change program", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 64-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHCQA-01-2014-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited