There is a need to move away from fragmentation towards more integration of care.

What is BridgeBuilders?

BridgeBuilders was a project that ran in 2018-2019. It aimed to encourage collaboration in healthcare. Through a blog and podcast public platforms were created for sharing thoughts and ideas around themes like teamwork, trust and collaboration.

What is the objective of BridgeBuilders?

The BridgeBuilders project aim was to create awareness about collaboration at all levels in healthcare. Teamwork has the potential to unlock endless possibilities through synergistic partnerships and networks and collaboration between health groups is needed to tackle the complex challenges our healthcare systems are facing today and in the future.

It is widely recognised that there is a need to move away from fragmentation towards more integration. A good way to do this is via a systems approach and not just through single organisational responses.

BridgeBuilders explored 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.

“BridgeBuilders is demonstrating the impact of this mindset on a greater scale. In a current culture of factions and self-promotion, it is pushing back. Dr Tash Coventry, GP

Who are behind BridgeBuilders?

Admins were 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.

“BridgeBuilders assumes that there is always a better way, and that through strategic conversation and a willingness to work together, we might discover it. Dr Jaspreet Saini, GP

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?

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?

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. Note: the project finished in 2019.

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.

Here’s a link to an article in MJA Insight. The Medical Republic posted an article about BridgeBuilders here. NewsGP posted a piece here.

I’d like to write a post for BridgeBuilders, what are the guidelines?

Entries are closed.

“I am quietly optimistic about this project – together we can build bridges. Dr Ali Soerensen, GP

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