Changing hospital organisational culture for improved patient outcomes: developing and implementing the leadership saves lives intervention

Erika Linnander, Zahirah McNatt, Kasey Boehmer, Emily Cherlin, Elizabeth Bradley, Leslie Curry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Leadership Saves Lives (LSL) was a prospective, mixed methods intervention to promote positive change in organisational culture across 10 diverse hospitals in the USA and reduce mortality for patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Despite the potential impact of complex interventions such as LSL, descriptions in the peer-reviewed literature often lack the detail required to allow adoption and adaptation of interventions or synthesis of evidence across studies. Accordingly, here we present the underlying design principles, overall approach to intervention design and core content of the intervention. METHODS OF INTERVENTION DEVELOPMENT: Hospitals were selected for participation from the membership of the Mayo Clinic Care Network using random sampling with a purposeful component. The intervention was designed based on the Assess, Innovate, Develop, Engage, Devolve model for diffusion of innovation, with attention to pressure testing of the intervention with user groups, creation of a think tank to develop a comprehensive assessment of the landscape, and early and continued engagement with strategically identified stakeholders in multiple arenas. RESULTS: We provide in-depth descriptions of the design and delivery of the three intervention components (three annual meetings of all hospitals, four rounds of in-hospital workshops and an online community), designed to equip a guiding coalition within each site to identify and address root causes of AMI mortality and improve organisational culture. CONCLUSIONS: This detailed practical description of the intervention may be useful for healthcare practitioners seeking to promote organisational culture change in their own contexts, researchers seeking to compare the results of the intervention with other leadership development and organisational culture change efforts, and healthcare professionals committed to understanding complex interventions across healthcare settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalQuality in Health Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021


  • health professions education
  • healthcare quality improvement
  • implementation science
  • leadership
  • teamwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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