Giving voice to health care professionals' attitudes about their clinical service structures in Theoretical Context

John Wiley & Sons
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Journal Article
Health Care Analysis, 2005, 13 (4), pp. 315 - 335
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Within the context of structural theories this paper examines what health professionals say about their clinical service structures. We firstly trace various conceptual perspectives on clinical service structures, discussing multiple theoretical axes. These theories question whether clinical service structures represent either superficial or more profound changes in hospitals. We secondly explore which view is supported though a content analysis of the free text responses of 111 health professionals (44 doctors, 45 nurses and 22 allied health practitioners) about their clinical service structures in a questionnaire survey in two large hospitals that had implemented clinical service structures three years previously. Commentaries unfavourable toward clinical service structures were made by 47.7% of staff, favourable by 24.3%, mixed (both favourable and unfavourable) by 17.1% and non-evaluative statements were made by 10.8%. The most frequent criticisms were inefficient organisation of change (27%), poor management (24.3%), lack of cooperation between staff (15.9%) and failure to empower health practitioners (13.5%). All professions made more negative than positive evaluations of their clinical service structures but the ratio was highest for doctors and lowest for allied health. Ranking of nurses' and allied health staffs' specific evaluations were similar but both differed significantly from doctors.'
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