Public sectors have responded to grand societal challenges by establishing collaboratives – new inter-organizational partnerships to secure better quality health services. In the UK, a proliferation of collaboration-based healthcare networks exists that could help to enhance the value of investments in quality improvement programs. The nature and organizational form of such improvements is still a subject of debate within the public-sector literature. Place-based collaboration has been proposed as a possible solution. In response, the purpose of this study is to present the results and findings of a place-based collaborative network, highlighting challenges and insights.
This study adopted a social constructionist epistemological approach, using a qualitative methodology. A single case study was used and data collected in three different stages over a two-year period.
The study finds that leadership, data-enabled learning through system-wide training and development, and the provision of an enabling environment that is facilitated by an academic partner, can go a long way in the managing of healthcare networks for improving quality.
Regardless of the tensions and challenges with place-based networks, they could still be a solution in maximizing the public value required by government investments in the healthcare sector, as they offer a more innovative structure that can help to address complex issues beyond the remit of hierarchical structures. This study is limited by the use of a single case study.
Across countries health systems are moving away from markets to collaborative models for healthcare delivery and from individual services to population-based approaches. This study provides insights to inform leaders of collaborative health models in the design and delivery of these new collaborations.
As demand rises (as a result of increasing complexity and demographics) in the western world, health systems are seeking to redefine the boundaries between health service provision and community self-reliance and resilience. This study provides insights into the new partnership between health institutions and communities, providing opportunities for more social- and solidarity-based healthcare models which place patients and the public at the heart of change.
The city place-based network is the first of such organizational form in healthcare collaboration in the UK.
Mervyn, K., Amoo, N. and Malby, R. (2019), "Challenges and insights in inter-organizational collaborative healthcare networks: An empirical case study of a place-based network", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 875-902. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-05-2018-1415
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