In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) called for academic health centers (AHCs) to adapt and change through collaboration between their many separate groups of healthcare professionals. Research on collaboration in healthcare organizations to date has concentrated on how collaboration impacts patient care and organizational efficiency. Research has not focused on whether collaboration among healthcare professionals, influences learning for individuals or the organization. Socio-cultural learning theory, which takes into account the individual, the organization and the larger system, emphasizes that “collaborative learning” is an important component of the learning process. It also emphasizes that problem solving facilitates the development of insights and solutions. On this basis, the link between collaboration and learning needs to be explored. This research focused on exploring the association between collaboration and learning as perceived by clinician educators and other healthcare professionals with whom they have collaborated in AHCs. In-depth interviews were conducted with 21 healthcare professionals who had participated in collaborative activities in the past 18 months, and who had familiarity with relational coordination (RC) as a framework for collaboration. Interview questions elicited interviewee descriptions of positive and challenging collaboration experiences. Data were analyzed using an inductive analysis approach and coded to identify implicit and explicit learning outcomes from those experiences. Findings indicated that all participants had extensive experience of informal collaboration with professional colleagues and learning resulting from their collaboration experiences. Four categories of learning outcomes were identified; process and quality improvement, professional relationships with colleagues, emotional awareness, and growth in technical and adaptive knowledge and skills. The majority of learning outcomes in each of the four categories were implicit, indicating that participants did not recognize the learning that was occurring through their participation in collaborative activities. Learning appears as a currently invisible outcome of collaboration as described by the participants in this study. Further research is needed to determine the potential value of the learning for the individual and the institution.
|Commitee:||Boyer, Donald, Kafai, Yasmin B.|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Chief Learning Officer|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Medical personnel, Educational sociology, Education, Health education|
|Keywords:||Academic health centers, Collaboration, Learning outcomes, Socio-cultural learning|
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