Inter-organizational Collaboration and Partnerships in Health and Social Care
AbstractInter-agency collaboration in the public sector remains chronically difficult, especially in the field of health and social care services; yet governments understandably remain enthusiastic about it. This article critically examines the potential of networked collaboration, which involves IT to facilitate inter-organizational collaboration, with particular reference to health and social care services. Networked collaboration can be implemented by the use of social software such as blogs, wikis and online discussion groups, which have been designed for the purpose of communication and collaboration. As a result of technological innovations it is now possible to engage in synchronous (real time) interactions that are not limited by location. The role of virtual collaborative conference facilities offers open access to shared information in health and social services, a place for collaborative activities and discussion tools. What current developments in social software can do is to offer ways of facilitating and enabling the necessary partnerships in health and social care services to move forward by reducing some of the main barriers to communications between managers and professionals across organizational boundaries.