Integrated management principles and their application to healthcare systems

Purpose of the paper: The paper presents, with examples, the concept of integrated models and the general principles of integrated management, with a focus on healthcare systems.

Methodology: Several interventions designed to implement integrated management in two different healthcare systems are presented. In each case, process improvement methodology was applied to common healthcare processes.

Findings: The concept of integrating the voice of customer, the voice of workforce and the voice of the process into a cohesive managerial approach was shown relevant also in healthcare.

Research limitations: Healthcare systems consist of complex organizational structures. Managers of such organizations are often very conservative and find difficult to adopt a process point of view in order to succeed in the implementation of a comprehensive integrated model.

Research and managerial implications: The goal of integrated management is to achieve a proper balance between the needs of the customers, the satisfaction of the workforce and the performance of processes. Such a balance provides added value to the organisation stakeholders, in the wide sense.

Originality/Value of the paper: Integrated models were developed in industry and their implementation was widely tested thanks to the model generalization by Kenett (2004). The research shows how healthcare systems can benefit from integrated models by pointing out similarities and differences between healthcare and industry organizations. This permits better planning of integrated model implementation and increases the potential for success.

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