Case | HBS Case Collection | November 2013 (Revised November 2014)

Infection Control at Massachusetts General Hospital

by Robert S. Huckman and Nikolaos Trichakis


The case explores the challenges facing Massachusetts General Hospital concerning the adoption of a new infection control policy, which promises to improve operational performance, patient safety, and profitability. The new policy requires coordination between different departments within the hospital, namely the Emergency Department, the Infection Control Unit, and Admission Services. Students are initially asked to assess the operational, financial and clinical implications of the new policy. They are then asked to examine different approaches to its implementation.

Objective: The case allows readers to examine a setting where internal coordination across different departments provides significant aggregate benefits for an organization. Coordination in this case, however, also leads to inequitable allocation of costs and benefits across the different departments, which then provides students with an opportunity to explore various implementation challenges and strategies.

Keywords: Safety; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Integration; Health Care and Treatment; Policy; Health Industry; Boston;


Huckman, Robert S., and Nikolaos Trichakis. "Infection Control at Massachusetts General Hospital." Harvard Business School Case 614-044, November 2013. (Revised November 2014.)