Can a collaborative approach create change? Read on…

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The Transition 2 sub-acute (T2SA) project emerged from early work undertaken by a group of allied health professionals from across the central and north-west belt of Queensland. Staff came together to explore ways to improve the patient’s sub-acute journey, especially for those from rural and remote communities.

The subsequent multi-agency—multi-site Sub-acute Collaborative—includes allied health professionals from Hospital and Health Services, non-government organisations, and a university department of rural health. It grew organically from a shared view: To provide a more integrated approach to care if they worked closer together. The underlying assumption, which is consistent with recent research, is the collaborative will learn faster, be more motivated to do things differently, and be more effective at implementing and spreading innovative ideas by collaborating and comparing practice rather than working as a single entity.

The collaborative meets regularly to monitor T2SA’s progress towards introducing new processes, and building capacity and capability between allied health professionals to deliver sub-acute services closer to home. Their approach is being monitored using the Vic Health Partnership Tool. This tool:

  • reflects on the partnership and how it is working to motivate change
  • develops necessary support to introduce change, manage the transition process and sustain momentum.

It has been used twice—six months into the two-year implementation phase of the project and again at the 12-month mark—and each member rated their level of success against a suite of statements about partnerships. The results were collated and a focus group was held to explore key themes.

In both cases, scores confirm the partnership is based on a genuine collaboration and worth pursuing. Planning collaborative actions, and reflecting and continuing the partnership, scored high in the most recent review. The greatest challenge, however, is implementing agreed collaborative actions. The focus group that followed reiterated members’ strong sense of shared purpose, the importance of working together to embed common processes and pathways across services and agencies, and identified how the partnership could progress project objectives.

The Vic Health Partnership Tool has proven to be a valuable way for the Sub-acute Collaborative to consider and better understand what factors contribute to a successful partnership, and where attention needs to be placed to ensure ongoing effectiveness. The findings suggest the collaborative approach is working, but it needs ongoing monitoring and investment to continue to add value to the work of each member.

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Last updated: 5 February 2020