A Troubled Hospital Stumbles in its Transformation Attempt

Copley Hospital, Morrisville, Vt.

Dates of Project: January to September 2006

Field of Work: Hospital organizational culture.

Synopsis of the Work: Transforming Hospital Culture was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in which 10 hospitals documented their stories of improving their organizational culture, with the goal of helping other hospitals understand how to create and sustain culture change in their institutions.

Copley Hospital in Morrisville, Vt., a small, community hospital with a history of poor relations between its administration and its nurses, was one of the participating hospitals. This sidebar describes the hospital's unsuccessful attempt to change its culture, including the perils of not including key stakeholders (e.g., physicians, trustees, and nursing leaders), and the lessons it learned.