The Innovation Imperative in Health Care Organisations
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The Innovation Imperative in Health Care Organisations

Critical Role of Human Resource Management in the Cost, Quality and Productivity Equation

Edited by Peter Spurgeon, Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper

Health systems in the western world face increasingly intense pressure to contain or reduce costs, while countries such as China and India move towards universal coverage. The contributors illustrate that radical gains in efficiency and innovative practice are required internationally in health care systems. They argue that the high proportion of health care system costs invested in staffing place the human resource function at the forefront of meeting this challenge. Sustained system change and productivity gains, more effective management of staff and work climate are essential elements of reform and are all covered in this book.
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Chapter 16: A safer clinical systems approach

Matthew Cooke, Steve Cross and Peter Spurgeon


The various patient safety initiatives in health systems around the world quite properly are motivated by trying to prevent harm and distress (and potential tragedy) to the individual patient. Most obviously this clinical focus is sometimes linked to organisational performance by the cost of legal claims against the system for any negative impact upon the patient. Patient safety though goes further than this in terms of organisational implications. The delivery of patient care is the basic business of the health care industry and if this is provided poorly or inadequately it is an underlying deficiency in the functioning of the organisation. In addition to potential costs from legal challenge, organisations risk additional costs from having to provide remedial care for patients adversely affected, potential re-admission, longer stay in hospital etc., not to mention the breakdown in reputation and trust in the provider role. Poor care is inefficient care and in this chapter we describe a system based approach to enhancing patient safety and thereby improve the effectiveness of the overall organisation.

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