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Leading processes of patient care and treatment in hierarchical healthcare organizations in Sweden – process managers’ experiences

Kerstin Nilsson (Institute of Health and Caring Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.)
Mette Sandoff (Department of Business Administration, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 5 May 2015

912

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to gain better understanding of the roles and functions of process managers by describing Swedish process managers’ experiences of leading processes involving patient care and treatment when working in a hierarchical health-care organization.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on an explorative design. The data were gathered from interviews with 12 process managers at three Swedish hospitals. These data underwent qualitative and interpretative analysis with a modified editing style.

Findings

The process managers’ experiences of leading processes in a hierarchical health-care organization are described under three themes: having or not having a mandate, exposure to conflict situations and leading process development. The results indicate a need for clarity regarding process manager’s responsibility and work content, which need to be communicated to all managers and staff involved in the patient care and treatment process, irrespective of department. There also needs to be an emphasis on realistic expectations and orientation of the goals that are an intrinsic part of the task of being a process manager.

Research limitations/implications

Generalizations from the results of the qualitative interview studies are limited, but a deeper understanding of the phenomenon was reached, which, in turn, can be transferred to similar settings.

Originality/value

This study contributes qualitative descriptions of leading care and treatment processes in a functional, hierarchical health-care organization from process managers’ experiences, a subject that has not been investigated earlier.

Keywords

Citation

Nilsson, K. and Sandoff, M. (2015), "Leading processes of patient care and treatment in hierarchical healthcare organizations in Sweden – process managers’ experiences", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 135-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-04-2014-0043

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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