HOW COLLABORATIVE PRACTICE RESEARCH CAN IMPROVE HUMAN BETTERMENT
An aging population, lack of competence and digitalization places new high demands on Swedish welfare. The demographic changes mean that a decreasing share of the population need to support an increasing amount of older people's demand for health care. By 2018, there will be imbalances (C Leifland 2017), and lack of competence already exist. Developed information technology-related products are used and can be used in the society within a variety of fields. One example of a field not yet fully exploited are the healthcare sector, and information technology can be seen as an assistive technology to get an effective care for older people. This situation will challenge the traditional management of the primary healthcare. In order to enable a person-oriented healthcare the primary healthcare realizes that it need to enable managers to work more interactive.
Färgelanda is a small municipality in the southwestern part of Sweden in which about one third of its inhabitants is over 65. To deal with this the healthcare center in this Municipality has started to make the management more interactive, in order to create continuous and better feedback, both from the healthcare professionals, the caretakers, and other actors within the healthcare. This initiative is supposed to contribute to a better communication between different actors, in order to increase older people’s life quality, according to their physical and psychological health as well as a meaningful everyday life. The overall goal with the changes is to provide healthcare based on the needs of the population, supported by explicit information structures and assistive information technology.
However, since the primary healthcare has limited resources and a lack of competence within the area of assistive information technology, they perceive that a collaboration with academia is a prerequisite to have a successful and innovative change in this rather complex context. Moreover, the change will also and has already initiated collaboration with other stakeholders in the municipality healthcare; the dental care central, the hospital, the psychiatry, and other voluntary organizations as well as people in the municipality both before and after they have become patients. All this emphasizes a need to investigate how this collaboration between different healthcare organizations and academia could or should be designed.
The purpose of the paper is to present some guidelines for how to design collaboration between healthcare and academia in order to be able to in the future design an interactive management in which developed information technology related products assist the healthcare to increase life quality for elderly people. The research question is:
How can collaboration between healthcare and academia be designed, in order to support interactive management and changes to a more efficient and effective person-oriented healthcare assisted by information technology?
The Collaborative Practice Research (CPR) process was chosen to inform this research project as proposed by Mathiassen (2002). CPR offers a way to organize and conduct research, based on collaboration between researchers and practitioners. Mathiassen (2002) calls the CPR collaborative as it also opens up the possibilities for a pluralistic methodology that accomplish a useful balance between relevance and rigor.