Professional Collaboration Project

Project Details
Project ID: RFT2010/11-05
Type: Commissioned
Status: Completed
Institution: PricewaterhouseCoopers
Chief Investigator: Caitlin Francis

Project Summary

Improved professional collaboration can help address many of the challenges faced by primary care in Australia; it works towards a more effective and integrated health care system with the consumer at centre, improves safety and quality of care and relationships between providers, and reduces overall system costs and service duplication.

This project collected evidence on and developed a model of collaboration for community pharmacists and other health care professionals within the primary health care setting in Australia in order to bring positive benefits to the Australian health care system and to consumers.

The project included the following key activities in order to inform the development of the model:

  1. Stakeholder consultations
  2. Literature review and mapping of existing collaborative practices
  3. National survey of primary health care professionals
  4. A national Design Forum to gain alignment on a vision for model

A three-tiered model (with National, Regional and Local structures) was developed based on a ‘systems-thinking’ approach which identifies the role and function of each player and leverages existing infrastructure. The model recognises the current policy context, is actionable, sustainable and aligned with the National Primary Health Care Strategy.

The success of the model requires bottom-up local and regional proactivity from health professionals and the establishment of a coalition of professional peak bodies in the form of the National Primary Health Care Professional Forum. It is understood that the implementation of the model requires a significant change management process.

This model proposes a systemic approach to professional collaboration across primary health care to improve the health of all Australians.