Case Example

Here is a case exemplifying a problem solving process in a collaboration.

Example IconThe primary care nurse and health promoter were working on a communication campaign for cancer screening. The public health nurse was sometimes ‘difficult’ when making certain decisions. He had definite ideas about the main messages for the campaign. However, the primary care nurse did not agree with one of them.

His idea was to direct the public to go to their family physician for mammography screening first. The primary care team preferred to have the public informed about the local mammography screening centre. Going to the centre first was seen to be a more efficient way to manage screening. The primary care nurse explained how his message would present unnecessary challenges for the primary care team. In essence, he needed to understand their perspectives.

The primary care nurse decided to speak to him on a one-on-one basis at an interpersonal level. She invited him for coffee to discuss the matter. She listened to his side of the issue. Clearly, he was missing one of the key elements. She explained to him carefully and respectfully as his ‘buy-in’ to the collaboration was key.

After the meeting, he was able to see their point. The two of them had not made any final decision but they were making head-way in the problem-solving process. The facts were laid out and individual players were aware.

By definition, problem solving involves the process of finding a solution to something that needs to be addressed. It is best that all members of the collaboration are informed and knowledgeable about the facts. Otherwise, you compromise the problem-solving process. A primary care-public health collaboration is not effective with a go-it-alone attitude.

 

Example IconClinical Problem solving at the interpersonal level

In planning for the first week of the upcoming flu vaccine season, the public health nurse and the primary care nurse of a solo practice clinic were discussing the appropriate order for the anticipated volume. They discussed at length the various possibilities and were about to make a choice without involving all the right people/stakeholders.

In an attempt to solve the problem, they had neglected to include the primary care administrative person. This individual had prepared a detailed log of last year’s numbers during the first week of the free clinics and was preparing to place the order.

Fortunately, prior to her making the call to the public health order desk, she communicated with the primary care nurse. With the right information and involving the right person, this clinical problem was close to be resolved.

By definition, problem solving involves the process of finding a solution to something that needs to be addressed. It is best that the appropriate members of the collaboration are informed and knowledgeable about the facts. Otherwise, you compromise the problem-solving process. A primary care-public health collaboration is not effective with a go-it-alone attitude.