UCL News


UCL Bookshelf: 'Organizing for Quality'

15 October 2007


nuffieldtrust.org.uk/publications/organizing-quality-improvement-journeys-leading-hospitals-europe-and-united-states" target="_self">'Organizing for Quality'
  • UCL Centre for Health Informatics & Multiprofessional Education (CHIME)
  • Two researchers from the UCL Centre for Health Informatics & Multiprofessional Education (CHIME) have published a book that analyses the reasons for strong performance in elite hospitals.

    Professor Paul Bate and Dr Glenn Robert recently completed a three-year study of quality and service improvement in hospital and health care systems across three countries. Their book, entitled 'Organizing for Quality: Journeys of Improvement at Leading Hospitals and Health Care Systems in Europe and the US' is a result of this collaboration.

    In research funded by The Nuffield Trust, Professor Bate and Dr Robert collaborated with colleagues at RAND, a non-profit research organisation in the USA, to investigate how an elite sample of nine hospitals and health care systems with an international reputation for sustained quality improvement and high performance had been able to achieve their levels of excellence over time. The study used qualitative ethnographic work (interviews and site observations) and quantitative surveys to re-trace each organisation's 'quality journey' at two levels: the senior team (macro-system) and a selected high-performing, front-line clinical unit (micro-system).

    In conducting this research, the researchers participated in joint site visits, collaborative analysis and interpretation of data, and co-authorship of findings. Team members on both sides of the Atlantic shared research methods and theory, enhancing the expertise of each team.

    In a foreword to the book, Don Berwick, of the US Institute for Healthcare Improvement, wrote: "Looking is not seeing. Listening is not hearing. It is possible to miss so much that is right in front of us if we lack the categories and skills to notice. The greatest of these skills is, perhaps, to put aside our expectations, and to stay open to the actual. Paul Bate and Glenn Robert are expert at noticing. With their guidance, dear reader, get ready to see things you do not yet know how to see, and to hear what you do not yet know to listen for. I commend this book to the student of change."

    To find out more, follow the links at the top of this article.