Success factors related to the implementation of change initiatives are well documented and discussed in the management literature, but they are seldom studied in healthcare organizations engaged in multiple strategic change initiatives. The purpose of this study was to identify key success factors related to implementation of change initiatives based on rich qualitative data gathered from health leader interviews at two large health systems implementing multiple change initiatives.
In-depth personal interviews with 61 healthcare leaders in the two large systems were conducted and inductive qualitative analysis was employed to identify success factors associated with 13 change initiatives. Results from this analysis were compared to success factors identified in the literature, and generalizations were drawn that add significantly to the management literature, especially to that in the healthcare sector.
Ten specific success factors were identified for the implementation of change initiatives. The top three success factors were (1) culture and values, (2) business processes, and (3) people and engagement. Two of the identified success factors are unique to the healthcare sector and not found in the literature on change models: service quality and client satisfaction (ranked fourth of 10) and access to information (ranked ninth).
Results demonstrate the importance of human resource functions, alignment of culture and values with change, and business processes that facilitate effective communication and access to information to achieve many change initiatives. The responses also suggest opportunities for leaders of healthcare organizations to more formally recognize the degree to which various change initiatives are dependent on one another.