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A dissemination strategy to promote relational coordination in the veterans health administration: a case study.

Connelly B, Battaglia C, Gilmartin HM. A dissemination strategy to promote relational coordination in the veterans health administration: a case study. BMC health services research. 2021 Sep 27; 21(1):1018.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Large healthcare institutions like the Veterans Health Administration (VA) continually seek best practices to improve clinical care. Relational coordination is an evidence-based organizational theory of communicating and relating to coordinate work and drive performance outcomes. Implementing relational coordination-guided practices can be difficult due to challenges with spreading information across large systems. Using social marketing theory and evidence-based dissemination strategies, we developed an evidence-based dissemination plan to educate and motivate researchers and operational staff to study and implement relational coordination in the VA. METHODS: In this case study, we used the four Ps (product, price, place, promotion) of social marketing theory to develop a 2-phase dissemination strategy. In phase one, we created and distributed relational coordination information and invited VA staff to join the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative. In phase two, dissemination efforts targeted researchers ready to implement relational coordination within existing programs of research. Process and outcome measures included dissemination, engagement and adoption data and a post-project survey. Quantitative results were calculated using descriptive statistics. Survey text responses were analyzed using deductive content analysis and a structured categorization matrix. RESULTS: Phase one included social media dissemination, virtual and in-person presentations, as well as phone and email communication between project staff and the target audience. In total, 47 VA staff became members of the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative and 27 routinely participated in online research seminars. In phase 2, 13 researchers expressed interest in studying relational coordination and 5 projects were selected to participate. Multiple relational coordination-related trainings and publications originated from this program. CONCLUSIONS: Dissemination approaches that involved personalized, one-on-one efforts (e.g., phone or email) seemed to be more effective at disseminating relational coordination compared to social media or online presentations. Participants in phase 2 agreed that relational coordination should be adopted in the VA but indicated that cost would be a barrier. Results support the importance of evidence-based dissemination planning that address the unique costs and benefits of programs.





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