1. Raymond, Patricia MD, FACP, FACG

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November's Nursing Management featured Dempsey and Larson's revitalizing example of collaboration between nurses and physicians at St. John's Health System, Springfield, Mo. ("Can't we all just get along?") All are in agreement that restoring collegiality in healthcare is the root of healing our profession.


On November 8, 2004, the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the American Hospital Association called for a day of dialogue about nurse/physician relations. As we convened, we represented all facets of healthcare: four physicians (including practicing internists and surgeons), and eight nurses (including staff and charge nurses), in addition to hospital administrators. Our goal: a working plan that your healthcare facility can implement to enhance collegiality between nurses and physicians.


Agilely facilitated by Pamela Thompson, the chief executive officer of AONE, we rolled up our metaphorical sleeves. We discussed how to transition from where we are to where we dream of being. We discussed successes at our facilities across the country, before establishing principles of healthcare collegiality.


Patient-focused care and enhanced patient outcomes is the organizing force behind creating the collaborative environment in healthcare. We need the support of senior hospital administrators, including their courageous acknowledgement of impaired relations, and agreement that the issue of collegiality requires sustained treatment and not a one-shot fix. We'll promote interdisciplinary collaborative relationships at all levels of healthcare, and teach the skills of collaboration to practicing healthcare providers, as well as those in training. Hiring decisions will include behavioral analysis, not just verification of expertise. We recommended systems for reward, recognition, and celebration, as well as a no-tolerance policy for disruptive behavior.


It's not a dream. The AONE report will have teeth and specifics. There are now no excuses. We'll have the healthcare profession of our imagination.


Patricia Raymond, MD, FACP, FACG


Chesapeake, Va.



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