Meaningful routines [A new project]

It is finally official! A couple of weeks ago, I got the great news that AFA försäkringar approved our research application. We got SEK 3 milj (approx. €300 000) over three years to study Meaningful routines in primary health care. Below you will find a short description of the project, and here you can find the press release. A HUGE thanks to AFA försäkringar for deciding to invest in this idea, and a big thanks to Malin and Virginia who participated in the writing and who will be a part of the project. To quote Henry Ford “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success“. This is a great day, but we should not forget that the work is still ahead of us….

Short project description: It is well-known that organizational routines play a key role in upholding stability and continuity at work. In primary health care, where the influx of patients with various illnesses is extensive and turnover of staff is increasing, well-functioning routines are even more crucial. However, if the routines are not perceived as meaningful, there is a risk that healthcare professionals will deviate from or just ignore them, which could have hazardous consequences for both patients and staff. Meaningfulness has been shown to be important in promoting resilience, and the ability to manage stress, and thereby reduce sick leave, which are current challenges in primary care. The proposed project is thus focused on “meaningful routines” in primary health care. This means routines that not only enable work to be successfully executed but also provide organization members with a sense of meaningfulness, which is an overlooked area of research. The purpose is to advance the understanding of meaningful routines in organizations. Based on in-depth interviews and four rounds of focus groups with primary healthcare professionals, an understanding of what makes routines meaningful will be developed. This knowledge is above all important for making primary health care more sustainable, but also transferable to other organizations where routines are central in order to maintain stability and safety.