Understanding the Nature of Interprofessional Collaboration and Patient Family Involvement in Intensive Care Settings: A Study Protocol
Although effective interprofessional collaboration is a key component of patient safety and quality improvement initiatives, little is known about the nature of collaboration in ICU settings. Through ethnographic research, this study will explore interprofessional care in 8 ICUs (6 based in the United States and 2 based in Canada), develop an empirically based readiness/diagnostic tool to assess the quality of team-based care delivery, and develop interventions to strengthen team-based care and patient family involvement. Our study has 3 iterative phases and will involve: a scoping review of the literature on team dynamics in the ICU, an ethnographic study (observation, shadowing, interviews) across 8 sites over 2 years and the collection of clinical outcomes data to inform the development of a “diagnostics” tool for interprofessional collaboration and family member involvement in ICU care, as well as interprofessional intervention development. The importance of ethnographic and other forms of qualitative research for the improvement of health care delivery has already been recognized. This study’s comparative design and the richness of its data have the potential to generate a multidimensional understanding of the processes of interprofessional collaboration and patient family member involvement. The creation of generally applicable, empirically grounded tools also has the potential to enhance these processes.
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