Capacity building for integrated health care at the local level

Elmer, Shandell and Kilpatrick, Sue 2005, Capacity building for integrated health care at the local level, in Capacity Building for Integrated Health Care at the Local Level Conference, [Dept. of Rural Health, University of Tasmania], [Adelaide, South Australia].

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Title Capacity building for integrated health care at the local level
Author(s) Elmer, Shandell
Kilpatrick, Sue
Conference name Capacity Building for Integrated Health Care at the Local Level Conference (2005 : Adelaide, S. Aust.)
Conference location Adelaide, S. Aust.
Conference dates July 2005
Title of proceedings Capacity Building for Integrated Health Care at the Local Level Conference
Publication date 2005
Publisher [Dept. of Rural Health, University of Tasmania]
Place of publication [Adelaide, South Australia]
Summary Aims & Rationale/Objectives
Taking a capacity building approach to research and evaluation within the context of a federally funded national program challenges the traditional paradigms of both research and evaluation. The objective of this approach was to foster attitudes and behaviours of reflection, critical inquiry and collaborative action amongst participants responsible for health care integration activities.

A series of workshops focusing on different elements of health care integration was conducted. Each workshop offered skill development in research and evaluation methods relevant to the participants' clinical practise. The workshops were multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral in order to promote discussion about shared patient care issues.

Principal Findings
Participatory action research facilitated by external agents can build the capacity of participants to identify and make changes that improve health care integration at local levels. A capacity building approach to research and evaluation can mediate tensions between top-down initiatives and on-the-ground practitioners.

A capacity building approach was crucial to the success of this project particularly as the project proposal was developed at the corporate level. The workshops played an important role in engaging the participants and fostering the development of solutions for locally identified clinical issues. The opportunities for discussion with other health care service providers were both readily embraced and appreciated by the participants. The networks formed during the workshops are likely to be vital in sustaining integration efforts.

Education sessions such as the workshops held within this project ensure that health care integration remains on the agenda of the relevant organisations. These workshops fostered a continuous quality improvement approach whilst focusing on the skills required and the systemic barriers to achieving health care integration. The success of these workshops is evidence that the need and desire for shared education opportunities exists and the interdisciplinary focus is a powerful tool for developing an appreciation of the cultures within disciplines as well as linkages.
Language eng
Field of Research 130199 Education systems not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E3.1 Extract of paper
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Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Vice-Chancellor and Presidents Office
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