Identifying Barriers to Culture Change: A Qualitative Analysis of the Obstacles to Delivering Resident-Centered Care
A growing number of healthcare organizations have moved from traditional, institutional nursing home models to ones that emphasize culture change, or resident-centered care (RCC). In 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began implementing a number of changes to VA nursing homes, now called Community Living Centers (CLCs), to provide veterans with a more resident-centered and homelike environment. This study aimed to understand the barriers CLC staff face when delivering RCC. Ten CLCs were included on the basis of their performance levels on RCC and quality of care. Semistructured interviews that focused on facility efforts in RCC and quality were conducted with all levels of staff. Interviews were systematically content coded. We found similarities and differences in barriers reported at high- and low-performing sites. Staff across all performance levels cited 5 main categories of barriers to delivering RCC: staffing, resources, acuity of residents, RCC and quality of care conflicts, and regulations. Staff in high-performing sites reported fewer barriers to RCC, although 1 barrier cited was difficulty coordinating RCC across departments. Staff in low-performing sites reported additional categories of barriers related to administrator turnover/lack of guidance, CLC culture/staff morale, and difficulty working with residents and families. As RCC continues to spread, it is important to anticipate the barriers to implementing these practices. Particular focus on regulatory, leadership, organizational, workforce, and process factors may help organizations avoid or reduce barriers to RCC. Given their training and skill set, mental health providers may be uniquely situated to assist staff in overcoming these barriers.