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Use of evidence-based management in healthcare administration decision-making

Ruiling Guo (Health Care Administration, Kasiska School of Health Professions, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA)
Steven D. Berkshire (Department of Health Administration, College of Health Professions, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA)
Lawrence V. Fulton (Department of Health Organization Management, Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA)
Patrick M. Hermanson (Health Care Administration, Kasiska School of Health Professions, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, USA)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine whether healthcare leaders use evidence-based management (EBMgt) when facing major decisions and what types of evidence healthcare administrators consult during their decision-making. This study also intends to identify any relationship that might exist among adoption of EBMgt in healthcare management, attitudes towards EBMgt, demographic characteristics and organizational characteristics.


A cross-sectional study was conducted among US healthcare leaders. Spearman’s correlation and logistic regression were performed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 23.0.


One hundred and fifty-four healthcare leaders completed the survey. The study results indicated that 90 per cent of the participants self-reported having used an EBMgt approach for decision-making. Professional experiences (87 per cent), organizational data (84 per cent) and stakeholders’ values (63 per cent) were the top three types of evidence consulted daily and weekly for decision-making. Case study (75 per cent) and scientific research findings (75 per cent) were the top two types of evidence consulted monthly or less than once a month. An exploratory, stepwise logistic regression model correctly classified 75.3 per cent of all observations for a dichotomous “use of EBMgt” response variable using three independent variables: attitude towards EBMgt, number of employees in the organization and the job position. Spearman’s correlation indicated statistically significant relationships between healthcare leaders’ use of EBMgt and healthcare organization bed size (rs = 0.217, n = 152, p < 0.01), attitude towards EBMgt (rs = 0.517, n = 152, p < 0.01), and the number of organization employees (rs = 0.195, n = 152, p = 0.016).


This study generated new research findings on the practice of EBMgt in US healthcare administration decision-making.



Guo, R., Berkshire, S.D., Fulton, L.V. and Hermanson, P.M. (2017), "Use of evidence-based management in healthcare administration decision-making", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 330-342.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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