Sustainable process improvements: Evidence from intervention-based research

Gopesh Anand, Aravind Chandrasekaran, Luv Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research develops a methodology for making process improvements that can sustain over time. Working with caregivers at a large U.S. hospital over 3 years, we redesign a process for educating kidney transplant patients with instructions for post-surgical care. Adopting an intervention-based research (IBR) framework and based on our actions to overcome challenges in implementation and sustainment of the redesign, we revise the current understanding of organizational learning theory. Follow-up observations after our intervention show that the process improvements at the hospital are sustained. We supplement the IBR with quantitative analyses and provide evidence of improvements in health outcomes and satisfaction levels of patients associated with the redesign. These analyses are based on difference-in-difference estimations using data from transplant patients, including a control group from other transplant units. Overall, our research specifies a methodology for implementing sustainable process improvements, particularly in high interaction service environments such as healthcare delivery, and identifies refinements to organizational learning theory, especially for such environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-236
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • difference-in-difference
  • healthcare operations
  • intervention-based research
  • organizational learning
  • process improvements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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