Policy Analyses of Standards for Interprofessional Collaboration

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doctor-bluetie nursesThe purpose of this policy analysis was to identify activities, strategies, and collaborations taking place pertaining to existing and anticipated legislative changes requiring promotion of interprofessional collaboration (IPC) by Ontario health regulatory Colleges. A mixed methods case study approach was utilized and four activities were conducted to inform this policy analysis:

  • A content analysis was conducted on 329 publicly available documents (e.g. standards for professional practice, practice guides, position statements, reports) relevant to interprofessional collaboration (IPC) accessed from health regulatory College websites;
  • Representatives from 14 health regulatory Colleges were interviewed;
  • An online survey of 1791 members of 10 health regulatory Colleges was conducted regarding their awareness of legislative changes, knowledge of controlled acts, and perspectives on IPC; and
  • A Stakeholder Roundtable meeting was hosted with representatives from 16 Colleges to disseminate preliminary findings from the study.

Commitment to the ideal of IPC was evident in health regulatory College documents, interviews, and among participants in the survey. Colleges are partnering with other Colleges on initiatives that will support better collaboration among their members. Colleges are also working on their respective internal processes to integrate IPC into standards, quality assurance programs, competencies, and continuing education offerings; however, much of the work pre-dates legislative changes. Despite the work undertaken to incorporate IPC, many Colleges were unclear about the intent of the legislation.

Numerous barriers were identified as impediments to achievement of the ideals of IPC. These barriers stem from long-standing issues in practice including "turf" or practice protection, extant legislation, and lack of knowledge about the roles, skills, and expertise of other health professionals. While we found much discussion of the importance of IPC among Colleges and their members, we did not identify any formal mechanisms or frameworks setting out what constitute IPC at the regulatory level.

For more information contact Dr. Sandra Regan: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it