Successful implementation of a Fracture Liaison Service through effective change management: a qualitative study

Arch Osteoporos. 2020 Mar 12;15(1):44. doi: 10.1007/s11657-020-0692-0.


We assessed the context in which a hip Fracture Liaison Service was implemented. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 21 key informants at two time points to understand organizational readiness, facilitators, and barriers to change. We identified strategies important to successful implementation, particularly in the context of change fatigue.

Purpose: Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) is effective for secondary fracture prevention. Two hospital sites implemented FLS for hip fracture patients, 50 + years, in Alberta, Canada. We assessed organizational readiness, facilitators, and barriers to change to better understand the context in which the FLS was implemented to inform its potential spread provincially.

Methods: We recruited individuals involved in FLS implementation at provincial and site levels to participate in telephone interviews at baseline and 16 months post-implementation. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic content analysis. In addition, site-level participants were invited to complete the Organizational Readiness to Implement Change tool at baseline.

Results: We conducted 33 semi-structured interviews (20 at baseline; 13 at post-implementation) with 21 key informants. Participants included managers (24%), FLS physicians/clinical nurses (19%), operational/leadership roles (19%), physicians/surgeons (14%), pharmacists (10%), nurse practitioners (10%), and social work (5%). Seventeen site-level participants completed the ORIC tool at baseline; all participants scored high (71%) or neutral (29%). We found that the use of several strategies, including demonstrating value, providing resources, and selecting appropriate sites, were important to implementation, particularly in the context of change fatigue. Participants perceived the FLS as acceptable and there was evidence of facilitated learning rather than simply monitoring implementation as intended.

Conclusions: An effective change management approach neutralized change fatigue. This approach, if maintained, bodes well for the potential spread of the FLS provincially if proven effective and cost effective. Change readiness assessment tools could be used strategically to inform the spread of the FLS to early adopter sites.

Keywords: Change readiness; Fracture liaison service; Osteoporosis; Qualitative.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Change Management* / economics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Plan Implementation
  • Hip Fractures / economics
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / economics
  • Osteoporotic Fractures / prevention & control*
  • Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Qualitative Research
  • Secondary Prevention / economics
  • Secondary Prevention / organization & administration*

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