Factors Enabling Communication-Based Collaboration in Interprofessional Healthcare Practice: A Case Study

Factors Enabling Communication-Based Collaboration in Interprofessional Healthcare Practice: A Case Study

Ramaraj Palanisamy (St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS, Canada) and Jacques Verville (SKEMA Business School, Raleigh, NC, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/ijec.2015040102
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The healthcare system has moved from autonomous practice to a cross-disciplinary interprofessional team-based approach in which communication for collaborative care is vital. Ineffective communication contributes to the team's inability to work collaboratively and significantly increases the possibilities of mistakes occurring in the delivery of patient care. So, effective communication for collaborative care becomes necessary for ensuring patient safety. This paper aims to advance our understandings of current communication-based collaborative healthcare practices. Specifically, it explores the factors enabling communication-based inter-professional practice. A qualitative study was selected for obtaining real life experiences of healthcare professionals. Twenty-five participants participated in the study, and the descriptive interview method was used to obtain qualitative data. The enabling factors were grouped into five main themes: communication, coordination, cooperation, trust, and collaboration. Quotes from the participants are presented to augment the interpretation and enhanced description of the enabling factors. Managerial implications, areas for future research, and limitations are given besides the conclusions of the study.
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2. Research Methodology

The purpose of this study is to improve our understandings of current communication based collaboration used in inter-professional practice in healthcare settings. In other words, the research study is intended to deepen the understandings of communication based collaboration by obtaining real life experiences of healthcare professionals. Since the study aimed for straight descriptions of the phenomena of communication-based inter-professional practice and collaboration, the qualitative descriptive study method was chosen for the research design (Sandelowski, 2000). The qualitative study was selected as it is a process used to examine the lived experiences of healthcare professionals in the field; and it provides a comprehensive summary of real life experiences in terms of events. To know and understand a phenomenon, facts about that phenomenon is required. The facts could be in the form of events or experiences which are descriptive in nature. These descriptions depend on the describer’s perceptions and sensitiveness of the described events (Emerson, Fretz, & Shaw, 1995). Based on the descriptive findings the theory development was done which is common in qualitative research studies (Neuman, 2003).

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