Quality Innovation in Healthcare – The Challenge of the Third Era


  • Pieter Kievit MA, MBA, Dijklander Medical Center Hoorn
  • Marianne Schoorl
  • Jeannette Oomes
  • Piet Bartels




innovation in health care, social systems theory


In the third era of quality assurance in health care, innovation is no longer the exclusive focus area of the individual medical professional dedicated to optimizing patient care nor is it achieved by design thinking by the health delivery organization aiming for economic sustainability. Change platform in the third era is the community of professionals, committed to providing the best possible care within the limits of organizational logic. We aim to clarify the conditions for sustainable quality improvement in health delivery organizations and in doing so to provide a means of improving initial feasibility assessment by identifying critical factors in the cooperation between different parties. We designed a model representing the sources of influence on the process of decision making regarding the selection of innovations and choosing the most effective implementation strategy. These sources are: aspects of legitimacy, core values and change readiness. We tested this model on a project, aimed at improving the efficiency of the OR in a Dutch University Clinic. The example project failed to deliver the projected outcome because of non-disclosed conflicting interpretations of core values and an implicit controversial status shift between medical professionals and OR management. This confirms the explaining power of our model. Successful implementation of quality innovation in health care depends (among other things) on addressing the challenges of differing concepts of legitimacy, conflicting core values and varying change readiness between social systems in complex organizations. Installing a QIC as such does not meet these challenges.




How to Cite

Quality Innovation in Healthcare – The Challenge of the Third Era. (2021). European Journal of Natural Sciences and Medicine, 4(2), 79-99. https://doi.org/10.26417/303oix63f