Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Health Administration


College of Health Professions

First Advisor

Jami Jones

Second Advisor

Jillian B. Harvey

Third Advisor

John Pearson


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the healthcare industry and forced organizations to fundamentally change their operations to ensure the highest level of safety for both patients and staff alike. The purpose of this study is to analyze the rapid response change process to COVID-19 in an outpatient setting and provide current and future healthcare leaders and organizations elements for consideration in redesigning healthcare delivery during a pandemic. Through a series of semi-structured interviews with Independent American Health Clinic employees, coupled with a thematic analysis, three main themes emerged the organization’s response: environment of care, healthcare operations, and organizational infrastructure. These themes were placed into a framework consisting of Lewin’s 3-Step Change model (unfreezing, moving, and refreezing) to retrospectively analyze an organization’s change efforts in response to COVID-19. The analysis highlighted a nine month period that started just prior to the pandemic declaration and aligned with the early trend of increasing cases and transmission levels. The analysis also outlined distinct challenges presented to the change efforts set by the existing culture of the organization. Additional information provided by participants during the interview process offered supplementary areas for discussion to include pandemic planning and training, the importance of staff resiliency, and the need to continuously monitor and improve business operations. The results showed that while there are many similarities to the conditions for which healthcare organizations needed to respond, the change efforts are unique to each organization.


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