Dream or reality? A recipe for sustainable and innovative health care ecosystems

Rocco Palumbo (Department of Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Silvia Cosimato (Department of Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Aurelio Tommasetti (Department of Management and Innovation Systems, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Publication date: 9 October 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Service ecosystems are gaining credence among management scholars. However, there is still little agreement about the distinguishing attributes of service ecosystems in both the public and the private sectors. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the health care service system, suggesting a “recipe” for the implementation of a sustainable and innovative health care service ecosystem.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methodology was used. First, a critical literature review was conducted to lay the conceptual foundations of this study. Then a theory about the institutional, organizational and managerial requisites for the implementation of a health care service ecosystem was developed.

Findings

The health care sector is appropriate for the core tenets of the service ecosystem perspective. Tailored interventions aimed at improving the functioning of the health care service ecosystem should be implemented at the micro, meso, macro and mega levels. Patient empowerment, patient-centered care and integrated care are the fundamental ingredients of the recipe for effective health care service ecosystems.

Practical implications

The ecosystem approach provides health policy makers with interesting insights to help shape the health care service system of the future. The paper also contributes to the innovation of managerial practices emphasizing the role of patient involvement in the design and delivery of health care.

Originality/value

This is one of the first attempts to systematize scientific knowledge about service ecosystems in the health care sector. An agenda for further research is suggested, in order to further advance the establishment of an effective and innovative health care service ecosystem.

Keywords

Citation

Palumbo, R., Cosimato, S. and Tommasetti, A. (2017), "Dream or reality? A recipe for sustainable and innovative health care ecosystems", The TQM Journal, Vol. 29 No. 6, pp. 847-862. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-02-2017-0023

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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