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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2021

Denise M. Cumberland, Andrea D. Ellinger and Tyra G. Deckard

The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted healthcare systems worldwide. Understanding the perspectives and insights of frontline healthcare workers caring…

Abstract

Purpose

The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted healthcare systems worldwide. Understanding the perspectives and insights of frontline healthcare workers caring for and interacting with patients with COVID-19 represents a timely, topical, and important area of research. The purpose of this qualitative action research study was to assist one US healthcare system that has an expansive footprint with the implementation of a needs assessment among its frontline healthcare workers. The leadership within this healthcare system wanted to obtain a deeper understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic was impacting the personal and professional lives of its workers. Further, the organisation wanted to solicit employees’ feedback about what they needed, understand the issues they were facing, and solicit their ideas to help the organisation know where to take action.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research employed 45 focus groups, referred to as virtual listening calls (LCs) in this organisation, which were held over a four-week period. A total of 241 nursing staff, representing healthcare facilities across the country, attended 26 of the LCs. A total of 19 LCs were held with 116 healthcare workers who are employed in other clinical roles (e.g. therapists) or administrative functions.

Findings

Extending beyond the available research at the time, this study was initiated from within a US healthcare system and informed by the frontline healthcare employees who participated in the LCs, the findings of this study include the perspectives of both nursing and other healthcare workers, the latter of which have not received considerable attention. The findings underscore that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the personal and professional lives of all of these healthcare workers and has exacted an emotional toll as noted in other studies. However, this study also highlights the importance of listening to employees’ concerns, but more importantly, their recommendations for improving their experiences. Notably, the organisation is in the midst of making changes to address these frontline workers’ needs.

Originality/value

The study, inclusive of nursing and other healthcare staff, demonstrates how an organisation can adapt to a crisis by listening and learning from its frontline employees.

Details

International Journal of Workplace Health Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8351

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2021

Ashley K. Barrett

Although resilience is heavily studied in both the healthcare and organizational change literatures, it has received less attention in healthcare information technology…

Abstract

Purpose

Although resilience is heavily studied in both the healthcare and organizational change literatures, it has received less attention in healthcare information technology (HIT) implementation research. Healthcare organizations are consistently in the process of implementing and updating several complex technologies. Implementations and updates are challenged because healthcare workers often struggle to perceive the benefits of HITs and experience deficiencies in system design, yet bear the brunt of the blame for implementation failures. This combination implores healthcare workers to exercise HIT resilience; however, how they talk about this construct has been left unexplored. Subsequently, this study explores healthcare workers' communicative constitution of HIT resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

Twenty-three physicians (N = 23), specializing in oncology, pediatrics or anesthesiology, were recruited from one healthcare organization to participate in comprehensive interviews during and after the implementation of an updated HIT system DIPS.

Findings

Thematic analysis findings reveal physicians communicatively constituted HIT resilience as their (1) convictions in the continued, positive developments of newer HIT iterations, which marked their current adaptive HIT behaviors as temporary, and (2) contributions to inter-organizational HIT brainstorming projects in which HIT designers, IT staff and clinicians jointly problem-solved current HIT inadequacies and created new HIT features.

Originality/value

Offering both practical for healthcare leaders and managers and theoretical implications for HIT and resilience scholars, this study's results suggest that (1) healthcare leaders must work diligently to create a culture of collaborative HIT design in their organization to help facilitate the success of new HIT use, and (2) information technology scholars reevaluate the theoretical meaningfulness a technology's spirit and reconsider the causal nature of a technology's embedded structures.

Article
Publication date: 15 November 2021

Lilith Arevshatian Whiley and Gina Grandy

The authors explore how service workers negotiate emotional laboring with “dirty” emotions while trying to meet the demands of neoliberal healthcare. In doing so, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors explore how service workers negotiate emotional laboring with “dirty” emotions while trying to meet the demands of neoliberal healthcare. In doing so, the authors theorize emotional labor in the context of healthcare as a type of embodied and emotional “dirty” work.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to their data collected from National Health Service (NHS) workers in the United Kingdom (UK).

Findings

The authors’ data show that healthcare service workers absorb, contain and quarantine emotional “dirt”, thereby protecting their organization at a cost to their own well-being. Workers also perform embodied practices to try to absolve themselves of their “dirty” labor.

Originality/value

The authors extend research on emotional “dirty” work and theorize that emotional labor can also be conceptualized as “dirty” work. Further, the authors show that emotionally laboring with “dirty” emotions is an embodied phenomenon, which involves workers absorbing and containing patients' emotional “dirt” to protect the institution (at the expense of their well-being).

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 September 2021

Bridget Rice, Nigel Martin, Peter Fieger and Taiba Hussain

Demographic changes involving a worldwide ageing population and later retirements produce a gradual ageing of the workforce and major concerns about how ageing may…

Abstract

Purpose

Demographic changes involving a worldwide ageing population and later retirements produce a gradual ageing of the workforce and major concerns about how ageing may influence the workplace. This paper aims to provide evidence relating to older workers in healthcare settings in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a secondary quantitative dataset, the authors sub-sampled a group of workers in the healthcare sector. We used linear regression arrangement with hypotheses focused on the assessment of the significance of interaction or moderation effects relating to job characteristics and age on employee satisfaction.

Findings

The authors note that older workers' job satisfaction is negatively influenced by poor perceptions of job security and autonomy in how their work is carried out. Ensuring that older workers stay in the healthcare workforce is imperative as the work force ages. This paper shows that managing their job security and offering them work autonomy enhance their job satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The use of a secondary and cross-sectional dataset has some limitations relating to endogeneity, although these have been managed and assessed. The paper is based on a representative sample of Australian workers, and is thus generalisable within the Australian context, and will be informative elsewhere.

Practical implications

The focus on elements of flexibility for older workers (enhanced autonomy) and clearer job security elements is of practical relevance in the management of older workers.

Social implications

As the overall population ages, supporting older workers in their careers will be of increasing importance. In sectors with a disproportionate share of older workers, like health care, this imperative will come sooner, and the benefits of getting arrangements right be will higher.

Originality/value

No other paper has explored these specific relationships empirically that the authors are aware of. This work is original in terms of its assessment of questions of what second-order effects exist in predicting employee satisfaction among older workers.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2021

Omar Taha, Thomas A. Mazzuchi, Shahram Sarkani, Jiju Antony and Sandra Furterer

The purpose of this paper is to apply Lean in the workers’ compensation industry. It focuses on identifying patterns of repetitive non-value-added transnational activities…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply Lean in the workers’ compensation industry. It focuses on identifying patterns of repetitive non-value-added transnational activities for physical-therapy patients and healthcare providers. It addresses the research gap in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, we designed and deployed multiple case studies to better understand the journey of an injured worker within the worker compensation system in the United States of America. We partnered with Concentra Inc., a leading national healthcare provider in the field of workers’ compensation having 520 medical centers in 44 states. Both case studies included conducting direct observations, Gemba walk, in five clinics in two states: Florida and Pennsylvania. We analyzed the data of 263 injured workers with 8 or more physical therapy visits who got admitted to Concentra clinics in both states over the period of 31 days.

Findings

The results revealed that the time intervals at which activities associated with physical therapy treatment pre-authorization accounted for 91.59% of the total non-value-added activities and are thus the key administrative factor leading to process inefficiency in the state of Florida. The Process Cycle Efficiency of Pennsylvania was 75.36% compared to 53.16% of Florida. The injured workers in Florida needed 39.58 days on average to complete eight physical therapy visits compared to 27.92 days in Pennsylvania (a median of 34.09 vs 22.15 days).

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited as it only focuses on processes on the healthcare provider side. An expanded value stream map that includes the treatment pre-authorization process on the insurance side would be beneficial for generating more potential solutions to streamline the process.

Practical implications

This study shows that Lean could play a critical role in identifying and quantifying continuous improvement opportunities that could accelerate patient’s treatment, reduce administrative burden on healthcare providers and improve the overall claim cost of insurance companies. It provides data-driven argument for insurance companies to consider eliminating physical therapy pre-authorization.

Originality/value

This is the first study to apply Lean methodology in the workers’ compensation field.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 7 September 2022

Pauline van Dorssen-Boog, Tinka van Vuuren, Jeroen de Jong and Monique Veld

While both perceived job autonomy and self-leadership are assumed to be important for optimal functioning of healthcare workers, their mutual relationship remains unclear…

Abstract

Purpose

While both perceived job autonomy and self-leadership are assumed to be important for optimal functioning of healthcare workers, their mutual relationship remains unclear. This cross-lagged study aims to theorize and test that perceived job autonomy and self-leadership have a reciprocal relationship, which is moderated by need for job autonomy.

Design/methodology/approach

Two-wave panel data were used to measure cross-lagged relationships over a time period of three months. Self-leadership is indicated by both self-leadership strategies and self-leadership behavior. The data were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression (HMR).

Findings

Job autonomy was not causally nor reverse related to self-leadership strategies, but did relate to self-leadership behavior in both directions. Need for job autonomy did not influence the causal and reverse relationships between job autonomy and self-leadership (strategies and behavior). Instead, need for job autonomy discarded the influence of job autonomy on self-leadership behavior, and predicted self-leadership behavior over time.

Practical implications

For optimizing healthcare jobs, human resource management (HRM) policy makers need to consider other interventions such as training self-leadership, or developing an autonomy supportive work environment, since job autonomy does not lead to more use of self-leadership strategies.

Originality/value

This study used a cross-lagged study design which gives the opportunity to investigate causal relationships between job autonomy and self-leadership. Both self-leadership strategies and self-leadership behavior are included.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 36 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 September 2022

Wilson Williams Mutumba

The significance of investing in healthcare has been recognised during the COVID-19 period more than ever before across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed…

Abstract

The significance of investing in healthcare has been recognised during the COVID-19 period more than ever before across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed inefficiency in the healthcare systems of many African countries which have resulted in the death of many people including healthcare workers who contracted the virus due to lack of protective equipment. Many African countries have not adequately invested in healthcare systems to prevent and urgently tackle the outbreaks of pandemics. This explains their unpreparedness to immediately address the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged many leading to the loss of lives. These challenges, therefore, have created the need to reflect and rethink concerted approaches to tackle this health hiccup. Consequently, this chapter discusses healthcare system challenges that have inhibited the delivery of good healthcare as well as issues of inequality in the provision of healthcare. The chapter explores the solutions to the identified challenges that can be adopted for better functioning of the healthcare system and provision of good healthcare. The chapter discusses how it costs the governments when they don't improve the healthcare systems. These costs are in form of increased strikes over demand for better remunerations, loss of manpower due to brain drain, loss of foreign currency that would come from medical tourism as well as loss of money in form of medical expenses abroad. It also highlights the benefits that accrue from improved healthcare systems. The chapter debates issues of morality about operations of private healthcare facilities and recommends appropriate measures that should be taken for better performance. The chapter recommends to the developing countries with meager resources the best model that can be adapted to better manage future pandemics, taking into account the environmental, cultural and demographic differences. The lessons that readers will pick from this chapter will go a long way in building healthcare systems that protect and shield the population against any future epidemics.

Details

Responsible Management of Shifts in Work Modes – Values for a Post Pandemic Future, Volume 1
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-720-6

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 17 January 2022

Emmanuel Eze, Rob Gleasure and Ciara Heavin

The implementation of mobile health (mHealth) in developing countries seems to be stuck in a pattern of successive pilot studies that struggle for mainstream…

Abstract

Purpose

The implementation of mobile health (mHealth) in developing countries seems to be stuck in a pattern of successive pilot studies that struggle for mainstream implementation. This study addresses the research question: what existing health-related structures, properties and practices are presented by rural areas of developing countries that might inhibit the implementation of mHealth initiatives?

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted using a socio-material approach, based on an exploratory case study in West Africa. Interviews and participant observation were used to gather data. A thematic analysis identified important social and material agencies, practices and imbrications which may limit the effectiveness of mHealth apps in the region.

Findings

Findings show that, while urban healthcare is highly structured, best practice-led, rural healthcare relies on peer-based knowledge sharing, and community support. This has implications for the enacted materiality of mobile technologies. While urban actors see mHealth as a tool for automation and the enforcement of responsible healthcare best practice, rural actors see mHealth as a tool for greater interconnectivity and independent, decentralised care.

Research limitations/implications

This study has two significant limitations. First, the study focussed on a region where technology-enabled guideline-driven treatment is the main mHealth concern. Second, consistent with the exploratory nature of this study, the qualitative methodology and the single-case design, the study makes no claim to statistical generalisability.

Originality/value

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study to adopt a socio-material view that considers existing structures and practices that may influence the widespread adoption and assimilation of a new mHealth app. This helps identify contextual challenges that are limiting the potential of mHealth to improve outcomes in rural areas of developing countries.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2020

Michele N. Medina-Craven and Kathryn Ostermeier

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between workplace bullying, organizational justice dimensions and intentions to leave. The authors posit that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between workplace bullying, organizational justice dimensions and intentions to leave. The authors posit that workplace bullying is positively related to intentions to leave, and that this effect is transmitted through lower justice perceptions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors surveyed 146 healthcare workers, using factor analysis and the Preacher and Hayes (2008) PROCESS macro to test their hypotheses.

Findings

The study results indicate that workplace bullying is positively associated with intentions to leave. This effect is transmitted through lower entity-based distributive justice perceptions.

Research limitations/implications

The study sample was cross-sectional and collected at a single point in time. Future research should examine these relationships in a longitudinal method.

Practical implications

The study results suggest that when a healthcare worker experiences bullying in the workplace, they begin to perceive their organization as more unfair. These negative feelings toward their organization lead to a desire to permanently separate from the organization. These results suggest that workplace bullying has serious ramifications for turnover, and that healthcare organizations can mitigate these negative effects by increasing perceptions of organizational justice through being transparent about their decisions and the process going into this decision-making.

Originality/value

These findings extend existing research by empirically testing the effects of workplace bullying on intentions to leave within the healthcare industry.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2020

Jennie Haw, Jessica Polzer and Dana V. Devine

This paper aims to examine emotional labour in the work of frontline staff (FLS) of the Canadian Blood Services' Cord Blood Bank (CBB), contributes to understandings of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine emotional labour in the work of frontline staff (FLS) of the Canadian Blood Services' Cord Blood Bank (CBB), contributes to understandings of emotional labour by allied healthcare workers and suggests implications for healthcare managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews with 15 FLS were conducted and analyzed as part of a process evaluation of donor recruitment and cord blood collection in Canada.

Findings

Emotional labour with donors and hospital staff emerged as a vital component of FLS' donor recruitment and cord blood collection work. Emotional labour was performed with donors to contribute to a positive birthing experience, facilitate communication and provide support. Emotional labour was performed with hospital staff to gain acceptance and build relationships, enlist support and navigate hierarchies of authority.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that FLS perform emotional labour with women to provide donor care and with hospital staff to facilitate organizational conditions. The findings are based on FLS' accounts of their work and would be enhanced by research that examines the perspectives of donors and hospital staff.

Practical implications

Attention should be paid to organizational conditions that induce the performance of emotional labour and may add to FLS workload. Formal reciprocal arrangements between FLS and hospital staff may reduce the responsibility on FLS and enable them to focus on recruitment and collections.

Originality/value

This paper addresses a gap in the healthcare management literature by identifying the emotional labour of allied healthcare workers. It also contributes to the cord blood banking literature by providing empirically grounded analysis of frontline collection staff.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

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