The barriers to nurturing and empowering long-term care experiments - lessons learnt to advance future healthcare projects

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The objective of this study is to explore the barriers to nurturing and empowering subsidized long-term care experiments that try to deal with today's long-term care challenges such as an aging population and increasing healthcare costs. Nurturing is the process of planning, implementing, and learning from experiments. The empowerment process deals with stabilizing experiments into the existing long-term care system. This is a qualitative study of a network that nurtured and tried to empower three long-term care experiments, which were subsidized by a ministerial transition program (2009–2011) in the Netherlands. In total, 14 open-ended, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Further data were collected through participation, collecting documents, and pursuing a focus group. The findings revealed eight barriers to nurturing and empowering the experiments. During the planning of the experiments, top managers and consultants were (1) lacking time, (2) ignored the local context, and (3) did neither engage project managers nor professionals. At the start of the experimentation, project managers and professionals were lacking (4) motivation, (5) time, and (6) support while there was (7) no sense of urgency to experiment. Finally, there was (8) no commitment from the top managers during the empowerment of the experiments. In conclusion, future projects have to try to avoid these barriers. Otherwise, time, money, and energy are lost in overcoming these barriers, which are needed to deal with today's long-term care challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-184
JournalInternational journal of healthcare management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IR-90823
  • METIS-298856

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