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Organisational silos: affecting the discharge of elderly patients

Organisational silos: affecting the discharge of elderly patients Purpose – This paper aims to explore the unintentional formation of internal functional barriers, (organisational silos) during moves towards departmental efficiency, within an acute trust, and the subsequent effects on the discharge process in elderly patients. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents some of the findings from a qualitative study examining the role of the nurse in the discharge process. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with a purposively selected cohesive sample of 28 registered nurses, from the medical and elderly care wards in an NHS Acute Trust. The interviews were taped, transcribed and their content analysed. Findings – The problems associated with patient discharge were frequently operational. Each part of the process was hindered, often inadvertently, by attempts on the part of individuals, departments and services to make themselves efficient, without regard for the resulting organisational consequences. This left the ward nurses attempting to overcome the obstacles in an attempt to effectively discharge patients, within a required period of time. Research limitations/implications – It is recognised that, the perceptions of those not participating in the study may have been different to those who did participate. As a small study in one trust the results may not be generalisable. Practical implications – It is imperative that evaluation of operational changes is undertaken, with particular regard to the consequences of change, for other services, patients and clients. Originality/value – This type of study can provide a method of diagnosing organisational problems, especially in areas that are reliant on inter‐professional and departmental collaboration http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Health Organisation and Management Emerald Publishing

Organisational silos: affecting the discharge of elderly patients

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References (40)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-7266
DOI
10.1108/14777260810883567
pmid
18700587
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to explore the unintentional formation of internal functional barriers, (organisational silos) during moves towards departmental efficiency, within an acute trust, and the subsequent effects on the discharge process in elderly patients. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents some of the findings from a qualitative study examining the role of the nurse in the discharge process. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with a purposively selected cohesive sample of 28 registered nurses, from the medical and elderly care wards in an NHS Acute Trust. The interviews were taped, transcribed and their content analysed. Findings – The problems associated with patient discharge were frequently operational. Each part of the process was hindered, often inadvertently, by attempts on the part of individuals, departments and services to make themselves efficient, without regard for the resulting organisational consequences. This left the ward nurses attempting to overcome the obstacles in an attempt to effectively discharge patients, within a required period of time. Research limitations/implications – It is recognised that, the perceptions of those not participating in the study may have been different to those who did participate. As a small study in one trust the results may not be generalisable. Practical implications – It is imperative that evaluation of operational changes is undertaken, with particular regard to the consequences of change, for other services, patients and clients. Originality/value – This type of study can provide a method of diagnosing organisational problems, especially in areas that are reliant on inter‐professional and departmental collaboration

Journal

Journal of Health Organisation and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 20, 2008

Keywords: Patients; Elderly people; Nurses

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