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2019 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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3001 — Using Relational Coordination to Improve Care: Theory Overview, Relational Coordination Survey Examples, and Practical Applications

Lead/Presenter: Heather Gilmartin,  COIN - Seattle/Denver
All Authors: Gilmartin HM, Seattle/Denver COIN; Snow AL, Tuscaloosa VAMC; Hartmann CW, Bedford/Boston COIN/ Quality and Safety QUERI;

Workshop Objectives:
Relational coordination (RC) is an evidence-based theory of organizational performance. It proposes workers across all job types most effectively coordinate their work through high quality interactions and supportive relationships, creating effective, reliable, and highly coordinated teams. Over 20 years, studies from healthcare and other industries document that RC drives higher quality outcomes, customer satisfaction, and worker well-being and engagement. To achieve the aims of the MISSION Act, the VA needs to develop technical, structural, and relational systems to ensure high quality and safe care for Veterans. RC can help. It is a foundation for creating high reliability organizations and learning healthcare systems. HSRandD supports opportunities for research teams to study RC using the RC Survey. This workshop is led by three HSRandD researchers who have used RC theory and the RC survey to understand and improve VA healthcare and are trained in RC-related interventions. The workshop provides attendees with interactive opportunities to learn about (1) RC theory, (2) how RC theory applies in HSRandD priority areas, (3) how to apply the RC survey in the real-world.

This workshop comprises four sections: (1) A didactic section giving attendees a firm grounding in the key concepts of RC theory using multiple examples from VA healthcare and materials provided by the RC Research Collaborative. (2) An interactive section for attendees where they will—in small groups—compare the survey to other commonly used surveys and methodological approaches. (3) Participants will take an example survey online. (4) An interactive section in which attendees, grouped by interest area, adapt the survey to their needs and evaluate multiple practical applications of the survey and its results to their context. Presenters will engage attendees in mock discussion sessions using existing RC Survey educational materials as though attendees were facilitating/participating in actual healthcare workers' use of the results to improve their teamwork.

Target Audience:
This workshop targets researchers, policy makers, providers, Veterans, and others interested in using RC to improve healthcare.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
The material covered will be of interest both to those with no familiarity with RC and to those with some familiarity with RC and/or the RC Survey.