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Critical success factors

Research for the toolkit has highlighted a number of factors which must be in place for successful adoption of standardised practices:Quality graphic


  • Administrative processes should be consistent but where there is local variation the differences should be clearly understood by all.
  • Staff must understand why certain processes are required at all networked sites and what their value is for patients and the organisation.
  • Information handling and moving must be excellent, ideally with centralised, excellent IT systems accessible to all.
  • Everything must be covered by detailed SLAs drawn up before the network opens.
  • Strong leadership is needed to explain and reinforce standard processes.
  • Staff across the sites should receive standardised specialty-specific customer care training, repeated regularly.
  • Flexibility is sometimes needed to adapt to local needs but variations must be agreed, transparent and well described.


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It was clear from speaking to a number of networked organisations that neither national nor international geography should be a barrier to standardised governance frameworks. Flexibility for local innovation can be built into standardised models – the need to adapt to local conditions should not be used as a reason not to adopt a standardised approach. One of the international healthcare organisations we met was Mediclinic International, an exemplar for organisation-wide clinical and corporate governance.

Mediclinic International:

  • operates 49 acute care private hospitals and two day clinics throughout South Africa and three hospitals in Namibia, with more than 8,000 inpatient beds in total.
  • operates 16 acute care private hospitals with more than 1,600 inpatient beds and three primary care outpatient clinics in Switzerland.
  • operates five acute care private hospitals and 39 clinics with more than 600 inpatient beds in the United Arab Emirates, mainly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“Sharing patients’ notes wasn’t considered when the agreement was drawn up and although we’ve offered the host trust access to our electronic records, they want physical notes, which costs us.”

“We know the NHS is now looking for standardisation, replicability, sharing knowledge and experience, not having everybody just doing their own thing.”

“Standardising the skills of the workforce will ensure that wherever they go they know what their job is.”

“We must ensure appropriate specialty benchmarks and standards – we know what good looks like.”

Critical success factors graphic