Evaluating Program Integration and the Rise in Collaboration: Case study of A Palliative Care Network
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INTRODUCTION: There is increasing global interest in using regional palliative care networks (PCNs) to integrate care and create systems that are more cost-effective and responsive. We examined a PCN that used a community development approach to build capacity for palliative care in each distinct community in a region of southern Ontario, Canada, with the goal of achieving a competent integrated system. METHODS: Using a case study methodology, we examined a PCN at the structural level through a document review, a survey of 20 organizational administrators, and an interview with the network director. RESULTS: The PCN identified 14 distinct communities at different stages of development within the region. Despite the lack of some key features that would facilitate efficient palliative care delivery across these communities, administrators largely viewed the network partnership as beneficial and collaborative. CONCLUSION: The PCN has attempted to recognize specific needs in each local area. Change is gradual but participatory. There remain structural issues that may negatively affect the functioning of the PCN.
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