Networking for healthcare communication teachers

france75spain75Healthcare communication teaching is a developing field with many individuals undertaking ground-breaking work in their institution. Communication teachers often feel the need for practical advice, resources, support, encouragement and a sense of community not necessarily provided within their own environment. Whether you are new to communication teaching or looking to develop your own skills or your programme, there is much to be gained from joining a network of like-minded people keen to collaborate and develop together. And not only are networks of benefit to you: networks allow members to coordinate their efforts and act together to achieve results for a whole community of healthcare teachers.

tEACH is keen to help facilitate such networks of communication teachers, both within countries and within disciplines. In these webpages, we provide guidance and strategies for the development of new networks and the enhancement of existing networks of health care communication teachers.

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What can a network achieve for its members?

Key features of establishing a network

Common purpose – Members have a mutual interest in a shared goal.  In our case to improve the quality of communication in healthcare

Co-operative structure – People work together across organisation boundaries making decisions and pooling resources.  Clear roles & responsibilities

Critical mass – ‘Enough’ members to get the job done.  Increasing membership adds value for individuals and allows succession planning.

Collective intelligence – Sharing and learning from each other as the project develops

Community building – Sense of belonging that fosters reciprocity and support

Key features for building a network

There are several key steps to establishing an effective network [click on each step for more information]:

What tEACH can provide

  1. tEACH can offer help, support and guidance to get starting networks to move towards their goals.
  2. tEACH can help starting networks to identify and define the network purposes.
  3. tEACH can provide courses and workshops that can motivate networks and network members.
  4. tEACH can offer courses where colleagues for potential networks can meet.
  5. tEACH can help share experiences in what works effectively to build a network.
  6. tEACH provide a home and website presence for healthcare communication networks.

Case studies and best practice

View an UK NHS video on establishing networks here.

Read the Health Foundation’s report on Effective networks for improvement here.

Read Implementation Science’s report on Determinants of successful clinical networks: the
conceptual framework and study protocol here.

Useful links

Effective Networks for Improvement
Network Toolkit
Network Diagnostics

A bibliography on networks

Click here for details of the bibliography.

Subgroup members