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Interdepartmental collaboration in a teaching hospital – A force field analysis

Lingaraj Jayalakshmi, Komala Devi S D, Vinoth Kumar.


Background: In health care, good collaboration and team work between specialty departments are needed to provide comprehensive care to the patients. There are incidents on conflicts and poor patient management and mistakes due to ineffective collaboration. To improve collaboration, we need to establish guidelines and protocols. Understanding the perceptions of physicians on interdepartmental collaboration would help in establishing these guidelines.

Aims and Objectives: This study was done to understand the perceptions of doctors in different departments to develop protocols and guidelines needed for good collaboration in a teaching hospital.

Materials and Methods: A force field analysis was done using rank order and Likert scale questionnaire method with both closed and open ended questions. Ninety-eight clinicians (47 juniors and 51 seniors) completed the questionnaire. Statistical analysis was done using Friedman test and Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test.

Results: Ego between power and capability was ranked highest among factors hindering collaboration. Communication and understanding were considered as most important for good collaboration. Evaluation of collaboration based on patient outcome was ranked highest to improve collaboration. Seniors (>10 years-experience) were more agreeable for monitoring and for getting feedback from patients when compared to juniors. Incompetency and administrative problems were ranked higher by seniors, whereas lack of communication and understanding was higher by juniors.

Conclusion: Regular objective evaluation based on patient outcome could be an important step in improving collaboration. Training programs and workshops should be developed for team building and communication skills in both Junior as well as senior faculty.

Key words: Interdepartmental Collaboration; Force Field Analysis; Health Care

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