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Collaboration and patient safety at an emergency department - a qualitative case study

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine how conflicts about collaboration between staff at different departments arose during the establishment of a new emergency department and how these conflicts affected the daily work and ultimately patient safety at the emergency department. Design/methodology/approach This qualitative single case study draws on qualitative semi-structured interviews and participant observation. The theoretical concepts "availability" and "receptiveness" as antecedents for collaboration will be applied in the analysis. Findings Close collaboration between departments was an essential precondition for the functioning of the new emergency department. The study shows how a lack of antecedents for collaboration affected the working relation and communication between employees and departments, which spurred negative feelings and reproduced conflicts. This situation was seen as a potential threat for the safety of the emergency patients. Research limitations/implications This study presents a single case study, at a specific point in time, and should be used as an illustrative example of how contextual and situational factors affect the working environment and through that patient safety. Originality/value Few studies provide an in-depth investigation of what actually takes place when collaboration between professional groups goes wrong and escalates, and how problems in collaboration may affect patient safety.

TidsskriftJournal of Health, Organization and Management
Sider (fra-til)25-38
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - 19 mar. 2018

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