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BMC Health Serv Res. 2015 Nov 13;15:508. doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-1171-y.

Understanding organizational and cultural premises for quality of care in nursing homes: an ethnographic study.

Author information

1
Faculty of Nursing, Sør-Trøndelag University College, P.O. Box 2004, 7004, Trondheim, Norway. Sigrid.Nakrem@hist.no.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Internationally, there are concerns about the quality of care in nursing homes. The concept of 'corporate culture' as an internal variable could be seen as the means to improve quality of care and quality of life for the residents. The aim of this article was to describe the nursing home culture from the staff's perspective and to include how the residents describe quality of care.

METHODS:

An ethnographic design was employed. A purposive sample of four municipal public nursing homes in Norway with long-term care residents was included in the study. Data were collected by participant observation including informal conversation with the staff, and in-depth interviews with 15 residents using a narrative approach.

RESULTS:

The main findings were that organizational cultures could be seen as relatively stable corporate cultures described as 'personalities' with characteristics that were common for all nursing homes (conformity) and typical traits that were present in some nursing homes, but that they were also like no other nursing home (distinctiveness). Conformity ('Every nursing home is like all other nursing homes') meant that nursing home organizations formed their services according to a perception of what residents in general need and expect. Trait ('Every nursing home is like some other nursing homes') expressed typologies of nursing homes: residency, medical, safeguard or family orientation. The distinctness of each nursing home ('Every nursing home is like no other nursing home') was expressed in unique features of the nursing home; the characteristics of the nursing home involved certain patterns of structure, cultural assumptions and interactions that were unique in each nursing home. Nursing home residents experienced quality of care as 'The nursing home as my home' and 'Interpersonal care quality'. The resident group in the different types of nursing homes were unique, and the experience of quality of care seemed to depend on whether their unique needs and expectations were met or not.

CONCLUSION:

In order to create a sustainable nursing home service the service needs to be characterized by learning and openness to change and must actually implement practices that respond to the resident and his or her family's values.

PMID:
26566784
PMCID:
PMC4643525
DOI:
10.1186/s12913-015-1171-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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