Exploring “patient-centered” hospitals: a systematic review to understand change

Irene Gabutti, Americo Cicchetti, Daniele Mascia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The healthcare scenario in developed countries is changing deeply: patients, who are frequently affected by multi-pathological chronic conditions, have risen their expectations. Simultaneously, there exist dramatic financial pressures which require healthcare organizations to provide more and better services with equal (or decreasing) resources. In response to these challenges, hospitals are facing radical transformations by bridging, redesigning and engaging their organization and staff. Methods: This study has the ambitious aim to shed light and clearly label the trends of change hospitals are enhancing in developed economies, in order to fully understand the presence of common trends and which organizational models and features are inspiring the most innovative organizations. The purpose is to make stock of what is known in the field of hospital organization about how hospitals are changing, as well as of how such change may be implemented effectively through managerial tools. To do so the methodology adopted integrates a systematic literature review to a wider engaged research approach. Results: Evidence suggests that the three main pillars of change of the system are given by the progressive patient care model, the patient-centered approach and the lean approach. However, there emerge a number of gaps in what is known about how to exploit drivers of change and their effects. Conclusions: This study confirms that efforts in literature are concentrated in analyzing circumscribed experiences in the implementation of new models and approaches, failing therefore to extend the analysis at the organizational and inter-organizational level in order to legitimately draw consequences to be generalized. There seem to be a number of “gaps” in what is known about how to exploit drivers of change and their effects, suggesting that the research approach privileged till now fails in providing a clear guidance to policy makers and to organizations’ management on how to concretely and effectively implement new organizational models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-364
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Hospital Administration
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Literature review
  • Models, Organizational
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Organizational change
  • Patient centered care
  • Patient-Centered Care


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