Lesley Bainbridge, BSR (PT), Med, PhD, with the University of British Columbia, gave an interesting keynote on teaching interprofessional collaboration in healthcare, a hot topic for a few years now. She started out with a not-shocking-but-nonetheless-horrifying statistic: 70 percent to 80 percent of medical errors are caused by poor communication and collaboration among healthcare teams. That may be because HCPs learn by doing in the clinical setting, although, she pointed out, most know more about collaboration than we tend to give them credit for.
She talked a lot about various competency frameworks, and the similarities (many) and differences (few) between those developed by U.S. and Canadian organizations. She also provided a fairly daunting list of challenges for interprofessional education, from stereotyping to time, geography (we both have big countries), to resources, power/hierarchy issues, political will, unions, professional regulators, and policies that don't support team-based approaches.
She says she wants to "put the 'I' back in teamwork," meaning that people need to take personal responsibility for examining what stops us from collaborating effectively as practitioners. What barriers do you face? She gave us several areas to think about:
* Social capital: Basically, this is about trust and respect. How do you build these among colleagues and team members? How do you lose them? Are there "teachable moments" in everyday interactions you can take advantage of to build trust and respect?
* Rhetoric: The words we choose can make all the difference in an interaction. She suggested practicing word choice in e-mail, since it has a built-in time delay you don't get in conversation. What words do you use? Does a disregard for grammar and spelling indicate a disregard for the recipient? Think about it.
* Perspective taking: Remember, her colleague told her, it's not all about you (what??). How do you figure out where another person is coming from? How can you teach others to discover others' perspectives? This one is particularly sticky, I think.
* Negotiate priorities: How do you work with others to determine what's important and what isn't?
* Resolving conflicts: How do you create a safe place to have conversations around areas of conflict?
* Building relationships: How do we build relationships, and how do we teach people to build constructive relationships with colleagues?