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Health Policy. 2006 Dec;79(2-3):203-13. Epub 2006 Feb 9.

Learning to cross boundaries: the integration of a health network to deliver seamless care.

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Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Instituut Voor Beleid en Management Gezondheidszorg, P.O. box 1738, 3000 DR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


We analysed the development of an integrated network from a learning perspective to see how care givers from different organisations were able to cross the professional and organisational boundaries that existed between them to make sure patients receive the right care, at the right moment, in the right place. We show how through a process of collective learning social contacts between health professionals increased and improved. These professionals learned to speak each other's language, learned how other professionals and organisations work and learned to look at the care process from a network perspective instead of only from a professional or organisational perspective. Through this learning process, they also experienced the limitations of standardizing knowledge in criteria, protocols and rules, and the value of direct contact for sharing information and knowledge, to ensure continuity in care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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