Managing Healthcare Integration

Adapting Project Management to the Needs of Organizational Change

Healthcare integration projects typically involve significant organizational change, with the intention of providing improved patient services and outcomes through the integration of healthcare services. Some of the management needs of healthcare integration arguably go past the traditional domain of project management, leading practitioners in these projects to use change management in combination with project management. The focus of this article is on the ways that project managers, responsible for merging and integrating healthcare services, have used project management and change management approaches in combination when delivering these projects. The article involves an inductive analysis of data from the integration of 10 healthcare networks. The aim of this article is to contribute to the growing stream of project management literature that explores the blending of both project management and change management. Analysis of these healthcare integration projects led to five key themes, which can be summarized as: (1) traditional project management only partly aligns to the needs of healthcare integration projects; (2) benefits were found in combining project management with change management; (3) change management was particularly beneficial if used early in the project life cycle; (4) the life cycles of these two disciplines did not align, causing complications in practice, and (5) practitioners used an intuitive and improvisational approach to combining the disciplines.
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