Improving client-centred care and services: the role of front/back-office configurations
Article first published online: 1 APR 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 65, Issue 5, pages 971–980, May 2009
How to Cite
Broekhuis, M., De Blok, C. and Meijboom, B. (2009), Improving client-centred care and services: the role of front/back-office configurations. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65: 971–980. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05014.x
- Issue published online: 1 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 1 APR 2009
- Accepted for publication 19 February 2009
- case study;
- client-centred care;
- front/back office;
Title. Improving client-centred care and services: the role of front/back-officeconfigurations.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study conducted to explore the application of designing front- and back-office work resulting in efficient client-centred care in healthcare organizations that supply home care, welfare and domestic services.
Background. Front/back-office configurations reflect a neglected domain of design decisions in the development of more client-centred processes and structures without incurring major cost increases.
Method. Based on a literature search, a framework of four front/back-office configurations was constructed. To illustrate the usefulness of this framework, a single, longitudinal case study was performed in a large organization, which provides home care, welfare and domestic services for a sustained period (2005–2006).
Findings. The case study illustrates how front/back-office design decisions are related to the complexity of the clients’ demands and the strategic objectives of an organization. The constructed framework guides the practical development of front/back-office designs, and shows how each design contributes differently to such performance objectives as quality, speed and efficiency.
Conclusions. The front/back-office configurations presented comprise an important first step in elaborating client-centred care and service provision to the operational level. It helps healthcare organizations to become more responsive and to provide efficient client-centred care and services when approaching demand in a well-tuned manner. In addition to its applicability in home care, we believe that a deliberate front/back-office configuration also has potential in other fields of health care.