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A conceptual operations management framework for activities organized in home care for elderly: a scoping review


Nathalie Patty ,

Erasmus University, NL
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Sylvia Elkhuizen,

Erasmus University, NL
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Robbert Huijsman

Erasmus University, NL
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Introduction: Many western countries have stimulated community living and care by shifting long-term care or institutionalized care to home care in order to cope with the increasing demand of care among elderly. However, the shift to home care requires a different way of organizing care. Compared to conventional care, in home care, a patient's home becomes a component of the health supply chain; patients no longer move to the service point, which means that professional activities need to be coordinated with several decentralized patient care points. Home care may also involve care delivery by different professionals from multiple organizations, which may complicate coherent and integrated care delivery. Considering these characteristics of home care, importance needs to be placed on how activities are organized. Most studies on home care focus only on one aspect of home care and do not address the whole picture. Furthermore, the growing importance of home care requires a need for a more holistic framework where logistical- and organizational related matters are incorporated, with this in mind a conceptual framework providing an understand of the activities organized in home care functions as a prerequisite for optimal and efficient care delivery. Therefore, the aim of this study is twofold: (1) to investigate what is known in the scientific literature on activities organized in home care for elderly and (2) to create a conceptual operations management framework for the activities organized.

Methods: A scoping review will be conducted. The following databases were used: Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Web of Science and ProQuest. Two researchers will independently review search results. Scientific papers on home care for elderly published in English were included if they comply with the definitions underpinning the research aim 'home care', 'activities' and 'organize'. Hence, the first step involved defining these concepts. The second step involved, charting and collating the data. An inductive content analysis will be used to order the data into a conceptual framework.

Results and discussion: We expect to have the results by the end of March. The results will be presented in two steps. First, we will present clear definitions of the concepts underpinning the research aim. Second, we will categorize activities being organized in home care to create a conceptual framework. We expect the conceptual framework to be hierarchically divided on an operational-, tactical- and strategic level. From the analysis, we expect to identify differences between professionals and teams working in home care, i.e. what is done and by whom. We also anticipate identifying variation in activities organized between, across countries and regards to the type of organization. This paper hopes to contribute to the comprehension of home care operations management and is especially helpful for professionals and organizations who want to understand their operations and its management.

Limitations and suggestions for future research: A limitation is the use of scientific literature only, grey literature and literature in other languages than English may be valuable. Future research should focus on examining the conceptual framework, and potentially fine-tuning it through empirical case studies.

How to Cite: Patty N, Elkhuizen S, Huijsman R. A conceptual operations management framework for activities organized in home care for elderly: a scoping review. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2019;19(4):464. DOI:
Published on 08 Aug 2019.


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