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Measures and measurement of high-performance work systems in health care settings: Propositions for improvement

Etchegaray, Jason M.; St. John, Cynthia; Thomas, Eric J.

doi: 10.1097/HMR.0b013e3181f685a4
Features

Background: Given that non-health care research has demonstrated many positive outcomes for organizations using high-performance work systems (HPWSs), a closer examination of HPWSs in health care settings is warranted.

Purposes: We conducted a narrative review of the literature to understand how previous researchers have measured HPWSs in health care settings and what relationships exist between HPWSs and outcomes.

Methodology/Approach: Articles that examined HPWSs in health care settings were identified and summarized. Key discrepancies and agreements in the existing HPWS research, including definitional, conceptual, and analytical areas of interest to health services researchers, are included.

Findings: The findings demonstrate that although HPWSs might be a valuable predictor of health care-related outcomes, opportunities exist for improving HPWS measurement in health care settings.

Practice Implication: Suggestions are provided to help guide future health services researchers in conducting research on HPWSs. Practice implications are provided for health care managers.

Jason M. Etchegaray, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, The University of Texas-Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety, Houston TX. E-mail: jason.etchegaray@uth.tmc.edu.

Cynthia St. John, PhD, is Director of Journey to Excellence, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX. E-mail: CynthiaSt.John@texashealth.org.

Eric J. Thomas, MD, MPH, is Professor of Medicine, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, The University of Texas-Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety, Houston TX. E-mail: Eric.Thomas@uth.tmc.edu.

The funding for this study was provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 1K02HS017145-02 and the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.