Interprofessional Research Collaborative
Dr Rebecca Mitchell
Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle
Dr Vicki Parker
Centre for Practice Opportunity and Development, Hunter New England Area Health Service (HNEAHS)
Ms Michelle Giles, Centre for Practice Opportunity and Development, HNEAHS
Mr Chris Kewley, Director of Nursing and Midwifery Services, Hunter New England Area Health Service (HNEAHS)
Prof Diana Keatinge, Chair of Paediatric Youth and Family, University of Newcastle and HNEAHS
Prof Mike Hazelton, Head of School, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle
Prof Isabel Higgins, Professor of Nursing Older Person Care, University of Newcastle and HNEAHS
Prof John Burgess, Newcastle Business School, University of Newcastle
Ms Pauline Joyce, Director of Academic Affairs, Royal College of Surgeons (National University of Ireland)
Dr Judy McKimm, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand
This cross-disciplinary and cross-national research collaborative has been established to investigate factors influencing the effectiveness of interprofessional teams working in health and social care environments.
Interprofessional teams involve individuals from different specialties, disciplines or sectors working together to offer integrated and complementary services and engage in comprehensive and informed decision-making (CCMHI, 2006). Interprofessional collaboration has been linked to improved planning and policy development, more clinically effective and innovative services, a more patient-focused service, better health and social outcomes, and is a priority for Hunter New England Area Health Service, New South Wales Health and the Australian Government (Australian Government Productivity Commission, 2005; NSW Department of Health, 2007).
Despite the benefits, a number of studies generate support for a negative relationship between professional diversity and positive outcomes. There are therefore important gaps in our knowledge of how successful interprofessional teams are established and managed. This knowledge is necessary for us to reap the potential benefits of interprofessional approaches.
Our aims are to:
a) Establish the key factors determining interprofessional effectiveness and innovation.
b) Model the determinants for successful interprofessional collaboration.
c) Inform governments to support policy development that is supportive of increasing effectiveness, innovation
and efficiency through interprofessional collaboration.
d) Provide substantial answers to primary research questions developed from gaps in the existing literature
and pilot study findings.
e) Develop information resources for policy decision-makers and leaders of interprofessional teams.
Research Question 1:
To what extent does interprofessional composition influence team and patient outcomes?
Research Question 2:
What are the key factors contributing to interprofessional team effectiveness and innovation in health and social care? What factors distinguish between successful interprofessional teams and those teams that fail to achieve their goals?
Research Question 3:
Where are there examples of interprofessional team effectiveness, and how can these be modelled across other clinical and policy contexts
Research Question 4:
What inter-relationships exist between the factors that potentially influence interprofessional outcomes, and how can these factors and connections be constructed into a model that explains interprofessional effectiveness?
This research project is the first to integrate learning from interprofessional research, with research from organisational studies, institutions, sociology and organisational psychology. It is the first project internationally to integrate across these research streams using the recently developed input-processes/mediator-performance model (Ilgen, Hollenbeck, Johnson, & Jundt, 2005).