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Knowledge of effectiveness and its application in secondary healthcare management

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to map out managers' understanding of effectiveness and to assess the application of knowledge of effectiveness in secondary healthcare management. Additionally, the study aims to assess the present situation of effectiveness research and the measures used in divisions of treatment. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The study was conducted by interviewing department directors, chief medical officers and directors of nursing (n=38) in the surgical, medical and psychiatric divisions of the five largest hospital districts in Finland. Findings ‐ The concept of effectiveness was complex, and difficult to concretise and understand uniformly. Knowledge of effectiveness supports both clinical and administrative management. Managers have different ways of applying knowledge of effectiveness depending on their managerial role. Effectiveness studies and measurement are still relatively rare in secondary healthcare and rarely identified as such by management. Practical implications ‐ The concept of effectiveness is not clear in management. Managers have an unclear understanding of knowledge of effectiveness and its application in secondary healthcare management. Originality/value ‐ The paper addresses the need for a discussion on effectiveness in secondary health care. In addition, managers need knowledge and support for implementing the policy of effectiveness on all levels of management.

Keywords: Effectiveness; Finland; Health services; Hospitals; Knowledge; Knowledge management; Secondary healthcare

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-11-01

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