What is authentic collaboration? | hcldr : HEALTH-CARE


Blog by Joe Babaian

Let’s think about what it means work together. We all do this almost every day and I assume that we have all experienced different levels of quality in these collaborations. To formalize it a little, let’s think about it authentic collaboration. Here is a personal story that I have just experienced that will help shape our discussion.

I think of times when I worked in a group. One thing that struck me was the effort required to make collaboration the tool we actually used, rather than choosing the “easy” way of letting one or two people make all the decisions. Often some feel that one or two executives can be effectively “on site” for speed and efficiency, as we may say. This not only has a negative impact on the desired results, but is also compared with a careful comparison and analysis of these situations. I saw firsthand how we really digged in and pulled everyone together work together, so many wonderful things have happened! This is just a small example of human power work together in an authentic way.

I found this extensive definition of Capacity builder from Toronto, which is worth reading:

A clearly defined relationship that is entered into by two or more different partners (e.g. individuals, organizations, networks) that come from different sectors, groups and / or communities to achieve common goals. They are characterized by the obligation to build, nurture and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. shared responsibility and responsibility for success; and sharing resources and rewards.

Wow, that’s detailed! I would add that “well defined” is often in the eye of the beholder and less officially defined collaborations are still relevant for the purpose of this discussion. What I really notice is:

  • Commitment to build
  • maintain relationships
  • Common goal
  • Shared responsibility
  • Share resources and rewards

Do we all work towards these key aspects in our daily connections / cooperations? Collaborating can be as simple as two friends sharing the babysitting tasks when needed, or as complex as multiple health organizations working together to create a translational research center.

With so much time for online interaction, many of us see the good, the bad, and the ugly in terms of collaboration – both very formal and informal.

The process of authentic collaboration best applies to our patient-service provider relationships. Ask yourself, do the five points above match your key healthcare relationships? As a patient? A provider? As you can quickly see, each of these missing elements creates the kind of relationship dynamics that are not ideal.

This week I want to go beyond communication and think about really working together. All the countless ways in which we can get together and share, build, and research – from a follow-up appointment with your clinician to an oncologist who is working on a current study with his research staff. Regardless of what you share, it is important to understand how and why we work together – for example, the online social media connection that keeps the healthcare system alive or the team that builds a solution to the mental health of adolescents.

Let’s talk on #hcldr this week about why and how we work together and what it means for healthcare.

Join the # hcldr community! Please visit us on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at 8:30 p.m. Eastern to discuss the following topics:

  • T1: What does authentic collaboration look like for you? Do you appreciate it or can you do it alone?
  • T2: How does this affect authentic collaboration at longer performance distances? How can we break down this barrier?
  • T3: How can social media and technologies create more authentic collaboration than just more connections at the surface level?
  • T4: What do you do when you are faced with an unbalanced collaboration? Examples?


3 ways AI can add value to collaboration. Accessed July 14, 2019.

Avrech Bar, Michal et al. “The role of personal resilience and personality traits of healthcare students in their attitudes towards interprofessional collaboration.” Nurse Education Today, vol. 61, February 2018, pp. 36-42. ScienceDirect, doi: 10.1016 / j.nedt.2017.11.005.

Clay-Williams, Robyn et al. “Working together in a competitive healthcare system: negotiation 101 for clinicians.” Journal of Health Organization and Management, April 2018. World,, doi: 10.1108 / JHOM-12-2017-0333.

S. Cunningham et al. “Interprofessional Education and Collaboration: A simulation-based learning experience that focuses on shared and complementary skills in an acute care environment.” Journal of Interprofessional Care, vol. 32, no. 3, May 2018, pp. 395-98. Taylor and Francis + NEJM, doi: 10.1080 / 13561820.2017.1411340.

Denham, Nicole and Bonnie Matthews. “Nurses emphasize the value of collaboration in implementing health technology.” Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology, vol. 52, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 32-36. (Atypon), doi: 10.2345 / 0899-8205-52.1.32.

Gardner, Heidi K. and Herminia Ibarra. “How to understand the value of collaboration, especially if you’re skeptical.” Harvard Business Review, May 2017.,

Nixon, Natalie. “5 reasons why collaboration is essential in today’s business environment.” Inc.Com, August 15, 2014,

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