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Patient Prefer Adherence. 2015 Jan 19;9:113-20. doi: 10.2147/PPA.S66778. eCollection 2015.

Using the framework of corporate culture in "mergers" to support the development of a cultural basis for integrative medicine - guidance for building an integrative medicine department or service.

Author information

1
University Hospital Zurich, Institute for Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Zurich, Switzerland ; Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany ; University of Maryland School of Medicine, Center for Integrative Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
2
Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.
3
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Center for Integrative Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA ; The Institute for Integrative Health, Baltimore, USA.
4
The Institute for Integrative Health, Baltimore, USA.
5
Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Goodyear, Arizona, USA.
6
Kliniken Essen Mitte, Evang, Huyssen-Stiftung/Knappschaft GmbH Patientenmanagement, Essen, Germany.
7
Department of Senology, Breast Center, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Evang. Huyssens Stiftung, Knappschaft GmbH, Essen, Germany.
8
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA.
9
Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Academic Teaching Hospital of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
10
Robert Bosch Foundation GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany.
11
Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Oncology and Hematology, Paracelsus Medical University, Klinikum Nürnberg, Germany.
12
Integrative Healthcare Solutions, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
13
Institute of Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances (IMAA), Zurich, Switzerland.
14
Frauenselbsthilfe nach Krebs, Bonn, Germany.
15
Schweiger, Schweiger & Associates, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An increasing number of clinics offer complementary or integrative medicine services; however, clear guidance about how complementary medicine could be successfully and efficiently integrated into conventional health care settings is still lacking. Combining conventional and complementary medicine into integrative medicine can be regarded as a kind of merger. In a merger, two or more organizations - usually companies - are combined into one in order to strengthen the companies financially and strategically. The corporate culture of both merger partners has an important influence on the integration.

PURPOSE:

The aim of this project was to transfer the concept of corporate culture in mergers to the merging of two medical systems.

METHODS:

A two-step approach (literature analyses and expert consensus procedure) was used to develop practical guidance for the development of a cultural basis for integrative medicine, based on the framework of corporate culture in "mergers," which could be used to build an integrative medicine department or integrative medicine service.

RESULTS:

Results include recommendations for general strategic dimensions (definition of the medical model, motivation for integration, clarification of the available resources, development of the integration team, and development of a communication strategy), and recommendations to overcome cultural differences (the clinic environment, the professional language, the professional image, and the implementation of evidence-based medicine).

CONCLUSION:

The framework of mergers in corporate culture provides an understanding of the difficulties involved in integrative medicine projects. The specific recommendations provide a good basis for more efficient implementation.

KEYWORDS:

corporate culture; integrative medicine; mergers

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