Evaluation of the SCHAAZ*

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2012.0490-0496

Eine qualitative Analyse aus organisationstheoretischer Perspektive

german translation / full article

Antje Erler, Ferdinand Michael Gerlach, Martin Beyer

Keywords: Family Practitioners Primary Care Practice Merger Innovative Healthcare Concepts Organizational Development

A Qualitative Analysis Based on Organization Theory

Introduction: The risk of a future shortage of family practices and the simultaneously increasing healthcare needs of an aging population make innovative concepts in primary healthcare necessary. Since July 2009, following the merger of six family practitioners to create a physician and pharmacist center in Schaafheim (SCHAAZ), a new primary healthcare model located in a rural area has been put to the test. During the course of a qualitative evaluation, problems, success factors, and the positive and negative consequences of the merger have been analyzed from the perspectives of the participating doctors and health care assistants (HCAs).

Methods: Structured interviews were used to survey family practitioners (n = 6/6) and HCAs (n = 11/15). The recorded interviews were transcribed and, employing the framework approach, analyzed on the basis of a theoretical model of organizational development in family practices.

Results: Extended resources in terms of both space and personnel enable the organization of work processes to become more structured and efficient, and the resulting “consolidation” in the work creates scope for more training and leisure time. However, from the HCAs’ perspective, this makes personal contact more difficult and changes what was previously a more familiar working atmosphere. The possibility to share responsibility for decisions with colleagues and delegate tasks to qualified HCAs relieves the burden on family practitioners. One important outcome was that team meetings were held more frequently, at which team members’ ideas were treated equally, and conflicts addressed openly.

Discussion: If smoothly functioning teams that are sustainable over the long term are to be created from the merger of family practices, care should be taken that time and space are given to the opportunity for social interaction among team members during their daily work in addition to frequent team meetings.

(State: 13.12.2012)

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