Organizational behaviour management is critical in health care because poorly designed systems contribute to medical error, create barriers and challenges for health care workers, and can negatively impact or direct behaviours. The A-B-C model (Antecedent-Behaviour-Consequence) is the most relied upon model for behaviour-based interventions. An antecedent (A) is a stimulus that precedes a behaviour (B) and encourages performance of that behaviour. A consequence (C) is an event that follows a given behaviour and increases the probability the behaviour will recur.1
Antecedents can take the form of signs, reminder prompts, and goal setting. Examples of a consequence can be feedback, monetary rewards, or praise for a job well done.
The long-term purpose of OBM is to create an environment that supports the desired behaviour without needing intervention. Ideally, these techniques become part of the organization’s day-to-day activities and operations. Factors that make this possible are education and training, involving personnel in customizing and delivering the processes, developing monitoring strategies, providing on-going support, and generating standards that individuals can use to regulate their own behaviour.
1. Cunningham, T.R., and Geller, S.E. (2013). Organizational Behaviour Management in Health Care: Applications for Large-Scale Improvements in Patient Safety. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK43716/