Medical Errors and Quality of Care: From Control to Commitment

by Alok Baveja, Naresh Khatri, Suzanne Boren, Abate Mammo



Ongoing efforts to reduce medical errors and enhance quality of patient care focus primarily on technological innovations. However, important management issues that underlie about two-thirds of adverse events have commanded insufficient attention. This article examines two alternative management philosophies—control-based and commitment-based—premised on opposite sets of assumptions about human motivation, and it develops a model linking the overall management philosophy with medical errors and quality of care. The current control-based culture and management systems in health care organizations are inherently inadequate in delivering high quality of patient care and safety. Consequently, there is a need to transform them for bringing further improvements in clinical outcomes. Implementing commitment-based management will foster collaboration, communication, coordination, and teamwork, the essential mechanisms for reducing medical errors and rendering high-quality health care.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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