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VOLUME 46 | NUMBER 3 | JUNE 2011

The Relationship between Organizational Climate and Quality of Chronic Disease Management

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Keywords. Organizational climate; primary care; diabetes; organizational context

Objective. To test the utility of a two-dimensional model of organizational climate for explaining variation in diabetes care between primary care clinics.

Data Sources/Study Setting. Secondary data were obtained from 223 primary care clinics in the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system.

Study Design. Organizational climate was defined using the dimensions of task and relational climate. The association between primary care organizational climate and diabetes processes and intermediate outcomes were estimated for 4,539 patients in a cross-sectional study.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods. All data were collected from administrative datasets. The climate data were drawn from the 2007 VA All Employee Survey, and the outcomes data were collected as part of the VA External Peer Review Program. Climate data were aggregated to the facility level of analysis and merged with patient-level data.

Principal Findings. Relational climate was related to an increased likelihood of diabetes care process adherence, with significant but small effects for adherence to intermediate outcomes. Task climate was generally not shown to be related to adherence.

Conclusions. The role of relational climate in predicting the quality of chronic care was supported. Future research should examine the mediators and moderators of relational climate and further investigate task climate.

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