By Marsha Hughes-Rease, MSOD, MSN, RN
NKC Consultant and Educator
Interprofessional collaboration is becoming increasingly important in a value-based purchase system. No one Health care provider can ensure that the patient receives the highest quality of care without collaborating with other providers. The Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (CIHC) defines interprofessional collaboration as "the process of developing and maintaining effective interprofessional working relationships with learners, practitioners, patients/clients/families, and communities to support optimal health outcomes." According to CIHC, "Elements of collaboration include respect, trust, shared decision making, and partnerships."
Magnet®-designated hospitals are expected to employ clinical nurses who assume leadership roles in collaborative activities to improve the quality of care as reflected in Source of Evidence EP12 in the 2014 Magnet® Application Manual. A robust governance structure for decision making at the unit level provides an excellent forum to fulfill this requirement. When initiating a quality project at the unit level, it’s common for many key interprofessional stakeholders to be overlooked. (A stakeholder is a person or group that is involved in or affected by a course of action.) The later they are brought into the change process, the more likely there will be resistance to the change.
One way to facilitate interprofessional collaboration and accelerate the change process is to identify your stakeholders at the very beginning and develop action steps to ensure their commitment to achieving the goal. Here are some tips and a tool to help you map stakeholder commitment and develop action strategies to ensure collaboration.
Tips for Stakeholder Commitment Mapping
You are probably looking at this mapping process and thinking, "This will take too long!" However, I would encourage you to think about how long it may take to reach your goal if you fail to get all the key players on board. Sometimes you have to go slow in order to go fast. In other words, it is to your advantage to take the time to engage stakeholders, tackle the tough issues early on, and then speed through implementation.
My consulting colleagues and I recognize how important the unit governance structures and processes can be to ensuring improved quality outcomes. This is just one tool we can introduce to help your units and departments accelerate change in your hospital and ambulatory care settings.
This article was originally published in June 2015.