The NOVO network: A Research and Development Platform with the Vision of a Nordic Model for Sustainable Systems in Health Care
Keywords:Intervention, Sustainable Organizations, Health Care, Ergonomics, Production, Work environment, Musculoskeletal, Mental, Nordic model, Change processes
Musculoskeletal and psychological/mental disorders are major causes of sick leave, threatening the welfare of individuals and the economics of companies and societies. The prevailing research and development (R&D) of ergonomic interventions show minimal long-term effects on health and wellbeing while interventions to improve production seem to have a dominant negative effect, particularly in the health-care sector. Scientific evidence suggests that improved partnership is needed between stakeholders with different and often opposing aims, i.e., organizational productivity vs. worker wellbeing. In 2006 a Nordic R&D network, the NOVO Network, was established highlighting the need for a new approach, integrating work environment and production needs in intervention R&D. Our hypothesis is that such an integration is more readily established in the Nordic countries, largely due to their leading positions in the world in terms of social capital. Through annual symposia and other activities, the NOVO Network brings together scholars and practitioners to share knowledge and experience and to suggest and develop new areas of collaboration towards increased organizational sustainability in health care. A multicenter study conducted within the framework of the NOVO network resulted in a new, practical tool. This tool aims to facilitate partnership instead of the prevalent domination orientation, thereby combining consideration of work environment and production needs. Based on our experiences so far, this article highlights some key future challenges. As a result, we hope to see development of a stronger Nordic R&D tradition towards increased organizational sustainability in health care.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Jörgen Winkel, Kasper Edwards, Rolf H Westgaard
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