Examination of the effects of interprofessional collaboration on health care provider and team productivity in primary health care: An important consideration in health human resources planning
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Health human resources (HHR) crises have been forecasted based on predicted shortages in all health care provider (HCP) groups. How HCPs use their individual and complementary competencies to work together impacts these crises. Interprofessional collaboration (IPC) is promoted as a means to create HHR efficiencies and enhance quality of care. Thus it is reasonable to establish not only if IPC occurs in teams but also the extent to which it occurs and how it affects productivity. An embedded mixed-methods approach was used to discover HCPs’ definitions of IPC, their ability to collaborate, and their perceived level of productivity. Fifteen HCPs participated in two semi-structured interviews and self-assessment for demonstration of IPC competencies using the Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric (ICAR). Applied thematic analysis was used to analyze the interview data. Bivariate analysis of ICAR data was performed. Comparative analysis of participant’s interviews in conjunction with their ICAR scores was completed. IPC definition themes included: understanding/valuing/using team expertise, communication, team member availability, and belongingness. IPC competency relevance, deeper understanding/heightened awareness, and differences between knowing and doing emerged as post-ICAR IPC definition themes. Contributing to/achieving patient outcomes were the hallmark of personal productivity, alongside the ability to complete the ‘to-do’ list and manage changing priorities. Post-ICAR personal productivity themes included: status quo work environments do not support collaboration/productivity and productivity could be defined differently. Team productivity was depicted as the right person with the right skills and team productivity enhanced collaboration. Post-ICAR team productivity themes included: the importance of role modeling IPC and leaving the team if unable to collaborate. Participants acknowledged similar barriers to productivity and IPC: medical model, hierarchy, turf protection, inconsistent funding/remuneration, and scope of practice restrictions. Quantitative analysis indicated that participants believed themselves to be demonstrating the IPC competencies at ‘above expected’ levels. The amount of variance of the competencies was quite low. Correlation analyses shed light on the content validity of this limited data set, particularly when they were considered alongside the qualitative analyses. The trueness of the conclusions drawn from the quantitative observations is demonstrated by the consistency of the qualitative observations and supported by relevant literature.
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