Trials and Tribulations on the Road to Implementing Integrative Medicine in a Hospital Setting

Published in: Health sociology review, v. 17, no. 3, Nov. 2008, p. 368-385

Posted on on January 01, 2008

by Ian D. Coulter, Lara Hilton, Gery W. Ryan, Marcia A. Ellison, Hilary J. Rhodes

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In this paper, results are reported from a five year qualitative study involving a stakeholder analysis of a hospital-based centre for integrative medicine. The objective of the study was to identify the barriers and the facilitators for creating integrative medicine in this setting. The study documented the timeline of the Centre from its very hopeful beginning to its demise. The paper focuses on the administrative implementation process, examining the original expectations in light of the organisational culture, business model, impact of policies and regulations, and the trade-offs made between the original goals and those attained within this environment. One of the most troubling aspects arising from this case study was that no corrective mechanism was in place for program design flexibility once previously created policies were deemed harmful to the Centre. When the major assumptions on which the Centre was founded, turned out to be false, there was no turning back and the Centre collapsed.

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