Facilitating inter-professional integration in palliative care: A service ecosystem perspective

Sudbury-Riley, Lynn ORCID: 0000-0001-5097-3407 and Hunter-Jones, Philippa ORCID: 0000-0002-0880-7357
(2021) Facilitating inter-professional integration in palliative care: A service ecosystem perspective. SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE, 277. 113912-.

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A paradigm shift toward healthcare inter-professional collaboration is leading to searches for ways to better facilitate integration. However, policy rhetoric often fails to acknowledge the complexity of healthcare service systems, and the difficulties involved in achieving successful collaborations. Consequently, more research is called for. We utilize the concept of a service ecosystem, a perspective currently prominent in service science, which is transforming the ways service systems are studied. This research aims to examine palliative care provision through a service ecosystem lens in order to uncover previously unidentified insights and opportunities for improvement. The palliative care ecosystem under study encompasses a defined geographical area of the UK. Data comprises pathographies (i.e., narratives of illness) with patients and their families (n = 31) and in-depth interviews with a variety of palliative care providers (n = 21), collected between 2017 and 2018. Capability issues comprising collaboration, coordination, and resource integration, together with communicating value all emerged as common themes impacting palliative care services. Taking a service ecosystem perspective, we also found shared intentionality for better integration and collaboration, with a desire among palliative care providers for the ecosystem's hospice organization to take the role of leader and facilitator. Acting on these findings, we demonstrate the ways new institutional arrangements provide a foundation for value cocreation. We make a contribution to the burgeoning service ecosystem literature which currently lacks empirical insights, particularly in health. We argue that in complex service systems such as healthcare, the focus must be on service design rather than organizational design, approached from the perspective of aggregation of service providers. We demonstrate empirically how reconfiguring resources and developing new institutional arrangements at the meso level can change micro-macro level interaction, enabling the emergence of new and enhanced value cocreation in palliative care.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Service ecosystem, Service-dominant logic, Palliative care, Integrated care, Hospice, Service system, Value, Co-creation
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Management
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2021 07:49
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 22:53
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113912
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3118632