The process of change related to health policy shift

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There is an urgent need to understand the processes of change initiated by health policy shifts aimed at controlling health care costs, altering health service delivery and influencing outcomes of health care. In partial response to this need, the primary objective of this research has been: to identify, describe, compare, and contrast the processes of change adopted and implemented in a variety of health authorities as a result of health policy This descriptive exploratory research has: 1) identified a number of constructs defining critical components of change processes related to health policy shift, 2) generated a series of questions and hypotheses concerning how change is implemented following health policy shift; 3) identified the extent to which change processes may be linked to alterations in the management and delivery of care; and, 4) explored if or how health status might be influenced. Change processes initiated by a specific policy shift were explored from the perspective of the change agent in order to discover indicators of effective change, to identify questions and to construct hypotheses and models for further consideration and testing in relation to change process related to health policy shift. Secondary objectives were: • to identify the expected impacts of change strategies on patterns of health care delivery; • to describe actual impacts of change strategies on the delivery of health care; and • to identify intended, measurable health outcomes attributable to change in the delivery of care. Qualitative field research (Babbie, 1992) of change processes initiated by health policy shift was undertaken to develop a number of case studies (Yin, 1984; 1993). Existing national and provincial health strategies linked to an identifiable policy shift were used to identify change processes for study. The decision by Alberta's Minister of Health to regionalize health services provided the health policy shift within which change strategies were explored, described, compared and analyzed. The project purposely focused on documenting and describing change strategies initiated by one health policy shift within a Canadian jurisdiction. Subsequent research should increasingly follow and target the outcomes and sustainability of change, and will make comparisons with experience elsewhere.
Bibliography: p. 259-275.
Casebeer, A. L. (1996). The process of change related to health policy shift (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/11748