Using a sociomaterial approach to generate new insights into the nature of interprofessional collaboration: Findings from an inpatient medicine teaching unit.

08:00 EDT 15th October 2018 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Using a sociomaterial approach to generate new insights into the nature of interprofessional collaboration: Findings from an inpatient medicine teaching unit."

Today's hospitals are burdened with patients who have complex health needs. This is readily apparent in an inpatient internal medicine setting. While important elements of effective interprofessional collaboration have been identified and trialled across clinical settings, their promise continues to be elusive. One reason may be that caring for patients requires understanding the size and complexity of healthcare networks. For example, the non-human 'things' that healthcare providers work with and take for granted in their professional practice-patient beds, diagnostic imaging, accreditation standards, work schedules, hospital policies, team rounds-also play a role in how care is shaped. To date, how the human and non-human act together to exclude, invite, and regulate particular enactments of interprofessional collaboration has been subject to limited scrutiny. Our paper addresses this gap by attending specifically to the sociomaterial. Drawing on empirical data collected from an Academic Health Sciences Centre's inpatient medicine teaching unit setting in Ontario, Canada, we explore the influence of the sociomaterial on the achievement of progressive collaborative refinement, an ideal of how teams should work to support safe and effective patient care as patients move through the system. Foregrounding the sociomaterial, we were able to trace how assemblies of the human and the non-human are performed into existence to produce particular enactments of interprofessional collaboration that, in many instances, undermined the quality of care provided. Our research findings reveal the "messiness" of interprofessional collaboration, making visible how things presently assemble within the inpatient setting, albeit not always in the ways intended. These findings can be used to guide future innovation work in this and other similar settings.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of interprofessional care
ISSN: 1469-9567
Pages: 1-10


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