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Health care managers’ perspectives on the sources of evidence in evidence-based hospital management: A qualitative study in Iran

Ali Janati
Edris Hasanpoor
Sakineh Hajebrahimi
Homayoun Sadeghi-Bazargani


Background: Evidence-based management (EBMgt) has been developed as a management framework for improving the quality of management decisions. To use that, we need to identify the source of evidence in decision-making.  Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the sources of evidence in managing hospitals.

Methods: Qualitative methods were used to explore the sources of evidence and to identify hospital managers’ attitudes towards evidence-based management. A series of semi-structured interviews (n=48), with a purposive sample of 48 participants, were conducted in 2016. Also, four focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with health managers and specialists in the field of management. A questionnaire was used for collection of demographic characteristics and managers’ perspectives.

Results: Six main themes emerged from the interviews including: scientific and research evidence, facts and information of hospital, political-social  development plans, managers’ professional expertise and ethical-moral  evidence. Also, the results showed that the majority of participants believed to use the evidence-based hospital management (95.83%).

Conclusions: Our study suggested that a full evidence-based hospital manager someone who is using all the sources of evidence for making hospital decisions. Using hexagon of evidence sources, managers can identify the best available evidence for hospital decisions and to make the best decision in the process of evidence-based decision making.


Keywords: Evidence-based management, management decisions, hospital  managers, health sector

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2413-7170
print ISSN: 1029-1857