Using a Common Vision of Partners in Care to Enhance Hospital Collaborative Relationships

Rosemary Arnold Brander, Margo Paterson, Yolande Chan


Background: Collaborative care is a philosophy that guides the work of interdisciplinary teams, patients, and their families internationally. Hospital organizations must create and cultivate environments to meet customer, health policy, and legislative mandates for improved collaborative care. This study aimed to inform and aid cultural change related to collaborative care relationships with the goal of improving the quality of care.

Methods and Findings: A critical ethnography using mixed methodologies was conducted at a mid-sized non-acute hospital in Ontario, Canada. This article presents Phase 3 of a three-phase study that engaged senior leaders (SLs) in interviews about customer service and collaborative relationships. Phase 3 findings were triangulated with prior Phase 1 study results from healthcare providers (HCPs) and Phase 2 results from mid-level leaders (MLLs). The combined findings from all three phases formed a description of the organization’s culture (self-awareness, congruency, and health), explicated five organizational tensions, and generated questions and innovative change ideas to advance growth toward a shared vision of “partners in care.”

Conclusions: A shared conceptual model of partners in care emerged from the shared conversations held in the research focus groups and interviews over the three phases in the study. Organizational questions, tensions, and possibilities were revealed to advance the culture of collaboration with patients, families, and staff. Innovations were identified and implemented to enhance collaborative practice.


organizational change, interprofessional practice, critical ethnography, shared leadership, transcendent leadership

Full Text: