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What drives continuous improvement project success in healthcare?

Paul Stelson (Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, Hillsboro, Oregon, USA)
Joshua Hille (Intel Corporation, Hillsboro, Oregon, USA)
Chinweike Eseonu (Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, Hillsboro, Oregon, USA)
Toni Doolen (Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon State University, Hillsboro, Oregon, USA)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 13 February 2017

4206

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a study of factors that affect continuous improvement (CI) project success in hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative regression analysis was performed on Likert scale survey responses. Qualitative thematic analysis was performed on open-ended survey responses and written reports on CI projects.

Findings

The paper identifies managerial and employee factors that affect project success. These factors include managerial support, communication, and affective commitment. Affective commitment is the extent to which employees perceive the change as being needed or necessary.

Practical implications

The results highlight how managerial decisions, approaches to communication – including communication before, during and after CI projects affect project success. The results also show that success depends on the way employees perceive proposed changes. This suggests the need for a more individualized approach to CI, lean, and broader change initiatives.

Originality/value

This research is the first to fuse project success and sustainability theory to CI projects, beyond Kaizen events, in healthcare environments. The research is particularly important at a time when healthcare organizations are required to make rapid changes with limited resources as they work toward outcome-based assessment and reimbursement rules.

Keywords

Citation

Stelson, P., Hille, J., Eseonu, C. and Doolen, T. (2017), "What drives continuous improvement project success in healthcare?", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 43-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHCQA-03-2016-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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