Innovation in healthcare: a systematic review of recent research

Nurs Sci Q. 2006 Jan;19(1):66-72; discussion 65. doi: 10.1177/0894318405284129.


Research on innovations in healthcare organizations published between 1994 and 2004 are here reviewed and summarized. The majority of the 31 identified studies dealt with the adoption of innovations and new practices and were cross-sectional designs applying quantitative methods, or multiple case studies applying qualitative methods. Five pathways for future research are recommended: (a) Multilevel approaches studying innovation simultaneously on individual, group, and organizational levels; (b) a combination of quantitative and qualitative data; (c) use of longitudinal designs (innovation both as the dependent and independent variable); (d) application of experimental designs in interventions; and (e) exploration of innovation generation and structural innovations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Ethnology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Forecasting
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Services Research
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Nursing Research
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research / organization & administration*
  • Research Design
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / organization & administration*