What is BridgeBuilders?
BridgeBuilders is an evolving project which aims to encourage collaboration in healthcare. Through the blog and podcast it offers a platform where people share their thoughts and ideas, in public, on the record, about how they would like to interact and engage with each other.
What is the objective of BridgeBuilders?
We want more collaboration at all levels in healthcare as it has the potential to unlock endless possibilities through synergistic partnerships and networks. We believe more collaboration between health groups is needed to tackle the complex challenges our healthcare systems are facing today and in the future.
As widely recognised, there is a need to move from fragmentation to integration and a good way to do this is via a systems approach and not just through single organisational responses.
Via the blog and podcast BridgeBuilders wants to explore the barriers to collaboration, learn more about other disciplines and groups, share success stories and encourage finding common ground.
Collaboration… do you mean holding hands?
Collaborative cultures are more successful, yet this is not always a priority in healthcare. Lack of collaboration and interconnectedness at many levels is one of the main reasons why healthcare is fragmented and not always as efficient and effective as it could be.
If we focus on outcomes without investing in relationships, there is a good chance that we will fail. Building trust and relationships is a key component of effective collaboration.
The philosophy of BridgeBuilders is that building bridges starts with a conversation; we want to encourage this at all levels and especially between current and future leaders.
Where and when did BridgeBuilders start?
The idea for the project was born in June 2018, when a group of doctors after a national conference in the Gold Coast, Queensland, decided that it was time to step up efforts to overcome the divisions and silos within healthcare and build more bridges.
Who are behind BridgeBuilders?
Admins are Edwin Kruys and Jaspreet Saini. Dr Ashlea Broomfield is co-host of the BridgeBuilders podcast. BridgeBuilders is supported by a group of healthcare professionals, most of whom have posted on the BridgeBuilders blog.
What sets BridgeBuilders apart?
There are many inspiring initiatives happening within healthcare that foster a sense of community and shared purpose and BridgeBuilders doesn’t want to claim to be unique!
BridgeBuilders allows people to take off their ‘hats’ and share ideas in an open, public space, not just for doctors but for the broader healthcare community. This is different from closed-door conversations, board meetings, and committees – which are often confidential.
Collaboration may mean that we have to let go of certainty and control and allow collective processes to occur as a way to arrive at new insights. BridgeBuilders does not have a (political) agenda, other than encouraging more collaboration, and does not claim to have all the answers or solutions.
What are the guiding principles of BridgeBuilders?
- Fostering open and transparent dialogue in an environment that celebrates differences and facilitates thoughtful disagreement
- Recognising the health care environment as a place where multiple stakeholder groups work together to improve the health and wellbeing of health consumers
- Welcoming organic change through a process that is open, evolutionary and iterative
- Encouraging everyone, especially those in leadership positions, to reach out across organisational boundaries.
- Using the principle of “each one, teach one” to deliver scale and accelerate change management efforts.
What is the vision of BridgeBuilders?
To bring healthcare professionals and organisations together around shared values and foster collaborative cultures.
What does BridgeBuilders do to achieve this vision?
BridgeBuilders consists of a blog where views and opinions can be posted in regards to breaking down barriers. On the podcast a wide variety of guests, including informal and formal healthcare leaders, give us their view on teamwork, integrated care, quality care, leadership and what needs to happen to make Australian healthcare an even better connected place.
I still don’t get it; it all sounds a bit vague to me
We understand that the BridgeBuilders concept is new and different. Collaboration is a process with an undetermined outcome but collaboration itself is far from vague!
Collaboration is something we often need to be truly successful in achieving our goals, yet it is often not a priority in healthcare for many different and often valid reasons. But if we focus on outcomes without investing in relationships, there is a good chance that we will fail.
Building bridges requires a move away from individualistic and single organisational thinking, which is not always easy as our western cultures celebrate and focus on individual success and expertise.
BridgeBuilders wants to explore the barriers, learn more about other disciplines and groups, share success stories and encourage finding common ground.
Is BridgeBuilders independent?
Yes, BridgeBuilders has no political agenda, is not lobbying for single-issue topics, has no affiliation with existing organisations or groups and no commercial interests. BridgeBuilders does not receive funding or sponsorship. We are not a membership organisation and we are not trying to compete with any existing organisation or group.
Can I become involved with BridgeBuilders?
Yes! If you want to get more involved or have ideas or suggestions, please send us a message. Anyone is welcome publish something about building bridges or get more involved.
Does BridgeBuilders receive funding, advertising income or sponsorship?
It’s all voluntary. BridgeBuilders does not receive funding, advertising income or sponsorship. The WordPress and SoundCloud accounts have been funded by admin.
Where can I find more information?
In the first episode of the podcast we talk about the background, aims and principles of BridgeBuilders.
I’d like to write a post for BridgeBuilders, what are the guidelines?
Anyone is welcome to publish a post around the themes of teamwork, building bridges and systems leadership in healthcare. Blogs posts are between 300-1000 words (but we’re very flexible).