Translating the Elements of Health Governance for Integrated Care from Theory to Practice: A Case Study Approach
Caroline Nicholson, Julie Hepworth, Letitia Burridge, John Marley, Claire Jackson
Introduction: Against a paucity of evidence, a model describing elements of health governance best suited to achieving integrated care internationally was developed. The aim of this study was to explore how health meso-level organisations used, or planned to use, the governance elements.
Methods: A case study design was used to offer two contrasting contexts of health governance. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants who held senior governance roles. Data were thematically analysed to identify if the elements of health governance were being used, or intended to be in the future.
Results: While all participants agreed that the ten elements were essential to developing future integrated care, most were not used. Three major themes were identified: (1) organisational versus system focus, (2) leadership and culture, and, (3) community (dis)engagement. Discussion: Several barriers and enablers to the use of the elements were identified and would require addressing in order to make evidence-based changes.
Conclusion: Despite a clear international policy direction in support of integrated care this study identified a number of significant barriers to its implementation. The study reconfirmed that a focus on all ten elements of health governance is essential to achieve integrated care.