COLLABORATION FOR LEARNING – HOW CAN IT BE DONE? – A CASE STUDY IN A TESTBED ENVIRONMENT BETWEEN A COMPANY, HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS AND THE PUBLIC IN PRIMARY CARE
Primary care (PC) faces major challenges due to demographic changes, medical and technological advances, increased healthcare costs and higher expectations from well-informed citizens. PC needs to adapt as society changes and in order to meet an increased demand for care, there is a need to be innovative in terms of the services that PC offers. The use of testbeds is becoming more common when introducing new technology into society, but in PC, testbeds are still a fairly new phenomenon. Thus, testbeds are discussed in order to create more effective, efficient and innovative healthcare practices. New health technology has the potential to better satisfy peoples need of healthcare and will eventually change healthcare practice. Testbeds provides opportunities for the healthcare professionals to test new technologies and adopt new work practices which will follow the use of new technologies. Likewise, patients can learn about new technologies and how to use the new care services made possible by the technology. In the testbed, companies can benefit from the knowledge of end users, such as healthcare professionals and patients, as they collaborate to test new technologies and services in real practice. Thus, the testbed has the potential to become an arena for learning between healthcare professionals, patients and companies, collaborating in order to learn and develop healthcare technology based on the need in PC.
This paper aims to explore the collaboration between a company, healthcare professionals and the public in a testbed environment in PC, and how collaboration can contribute to learning for all involved. The following research questions guided this study:
- What learning arise when a company, healthcare professionals and the public collaborate?
- What are the facilitators and barriers for learning in the collaboration between a company, healthcare professionals and the public?
The testbed in this study is located on a PC centre in a relatively small municipality with approximately 6600 inhabitants on the west coast of Sweden. The company is a small size company that develops 3D patient information films for healthcare that can be shown on waiting room screens as well as online at patients’ homes. So far, the company has focused on creating films intended for hospital care, such as information about operations and treatments, but now the company want to expand its scope to also include PC. Having limited knowledge about the PC context, the company use the testbed to co-create an information film on fall prevention through collaboration with healthcare professionals and representatives from the target group, namely frail older people. To explore the collaboration when co-creating this film, a case study is conducted. Data is collected by filming and recording collaboration meetings, e-mail conversations, discussion groups and/or individual interviews. We expect this study to provide insights in what learning takes place when companies and end users collaborate on developing healthcare technology and thus contribute with a deeper understanding of “best practices” regarding the collaboration processes in testbeds. In the longer perspective, a well-functioning testbed in PC can potentially contribute with innovative technologies and services that can increase the healthcare's resource efficiency and quality.