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What Is Collaborative Nursing?

In collaborative nursing, nurses work with each other or other medical professionals to achieve a common goal. Collaborative nursing is a great example of the ripple effect. This type of collaboration may have a positive impact on one patient; however, the ripples may extend well beyond that patient. The result may even be a new policy or program aimed at improving care, and it may benefit many people for many years.

An Oncology Nursing Forum article highlighted an excellent example of this. The nurses at a cancer facility wanted to improve communication between the inpatient and outpatient care teams. Their goal was to streamline the process for patients as they transitioned from one type of care to the other. They studied the situation and created a pilot program to address it. When the pilot program was completed, they found that the results were positive: “Patients cared for by nurse participants seemed more comfortable with the inpatient-to-outpatient transition process.”

Build Collaboration Skills

If collaborative nursing hasn’t been part of a particular healthcare environment, it may take time to create a culture of collaboration. An article from Saint Peter’s University highlights certain skills that can foster that culture:

  • Value the diversity of the team
  • Teach people how to deal with conflict
  • Listen
  • Be open
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Build the team

Use Technology

New and improved healthcare products are introduced almost constantly. Some new technology is helpful for diagnosing or treating patients. Other types of technology improve processes, such as enabling quicker patient check-ins or streamlining medical transcription. Utilizing available technology may enhance collaboration efforts. Electronic Health Records are a perfect example of this. An article in Nursing World notes that they provide “access to critical patient information from multiple providers, literally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, allowing for better coordinated care.”

Be Open to Different Types of Collaboration

Sometimes, collaboration involves a scheduled meeting with a set agenda and a specific goal. Other times, collaboration begins with a chance comment on an elevator, a complaint to a colleague over a cup of coffee, or a question from a patient. “Appreciate that collaboration can occur spontaneously” is one of Ten Lessons in Collaboration from Nursing World. The article explains, “Frequently, new knowledge is created as people spontaneously begin to work together on complex problems within a health care agency.”

Create a Ripple Effect

Collaboration is a process of working together toward a common goal, and the rewards can be very positive for everyone involved. However, the ripple effects, as noted above, can make the rewards even greater. If collaboration is new to a particular healthcare environment, someone has to start that ripple effect by tossing the first stone into the water.

These steps can help, and we can too. At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we have resources to help you create your ripple effect. Give us a call today at (310) 436-3650.