Study: Combined Interventions Are Beneficial for Both Expected and Unexpected Reasons

December 7, 2016 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Combined interventions lead to greater awareness and ability to act from staff members, and also tend to be more ambitious and sophisticated in approach, compared with single interventions, according to a retrospective analysis of the Safer Delivery of Surgical Services (S3) Program published in the December 2016 issue of theAnnals of Surgery. The S3 program hypothesizes that combined interventions are more effective because the three causes of risk they address—systems of work, workplace culture, and technology used for work—interact with each other. The authors interviewed 23 hospital staff and 11 program staff at five hospitals involved in the S3 program. They found a "tangible difference" between the nature of work undertaken in programs with combined interventions when compared with single interventions. Participants said getting the entire organization to buy in to single interventions can be difficult, because many were skeptical that their participation was actually necessary. Words used to describe single interventions included "shallow-minded" and "primitive."

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