From 2001 until 2003, Project Director Alan Cohen, ScD, and co-investigators from Boston University studied the dynamics of hospital mergers and systems integration.
Drawing from the literature and interviews with five "real-world" examples of integrated systems, they formulated a new conceptual framework for successful systems integration across eight dimensions: strategic vision, governance, leadership, culture/values, financial systems, clinical systems, information systems, and support functions.
The research team defined a new conceptual framework for hospital integration that captures the complexity of integration efforts.
Project staff developed qualitative measures to assess the extent of integration on the eight organizational dimensions.
The team identified four external forces that can facilitate or impede a hospital's decision to integrate. The team also identified five equally important factors internal to the hospital.
According to the researchers, governance, leadership, organizational culture and values, and strategic vision are key to successful integration.
The researchers derived four hypotheses for predicting success in a hospital merger or integration.