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Healthcare PlexusCall: Research Worlds in Health Care
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When: Wednesday, July 17, 2013
1-2pm ET

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Healthcare PlexusCall
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT
Research Worlds in Health Care

Guests: Ellen Raboin, Paul Uhlig, Sheila McNamee, Jeff Cohn

MP3 File


Research Worlds in Health Care (pptx)

Healthcare today faces many challenges, including rising costs, inconsistent quality and safety, and a need to reengage the human side of healthcare. It may be that improvements can be made within existing frameworks. But it may be that we need to go beyond improvements in practice to reexamine the education, research methods and assumptions on which current practice is based.

Paul, Ellen, Sheila and Jeff will join the call to talk about the concept of relational research and Research Worlds, a new framework for understanding and developing standards of rigor that are appropriate for different types of research. Please bring your experience and your questions to this important conversation.

W. Ellen Raboin, PhD, MSOD, MBA,, is a health care researcher/consultant and principal at Care Quest Consulting in Danville, CA. Ellen's research and consulting concern collaborative ways of giving and receiving care, emphasizing the importance of contexts and social processes. Her research applies a practical communication perspective rooted in relational social constructionism and the Coordinated Management of Meaning. She is interested in ways that transformation happens through conversations, reflection, and new patterns of interaction among care team members, patients, and family members, and how change can be achieved by new routines in the care environment supplemented with simulations. Ellen is a board member of the Ronald McDonald House of San Francisco and Past-President of the Bay Area Organization Development Network. She holds a Doctorate in Human and Organization Systems from Fielding Graduate University, a Masters in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, and an MBA from Cal State.

Paul Uhlig, MD, MPA,, a cardiothoracic surgeon, is associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita and Executive Director of the Mid Continent Regional Center for Health Care Simulation. He is recognized for innovative practice and research in patient safety, high reliability health care teamwork, and interprofessional education. His research utilizes social science methods to study how health care practice culture can be intentionally transformed through collaborative approaches and relationship centered interventions. Paul and the cardiac surgery care team he led at Concord Hospital, Concord, NH, received the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Award in System Innovation for developing the Concord Collaborative Care Model, now known as the Social Process Model of Collaborative Teamwork. Previously, Paul was chair of the Education Committee of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, and past national co-chair of the Health Policy Committee of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Sheila McNamee, PhD,, is Professor of Communication at the University of New Hampshire and is a founding member and Vice President of the Taos Institute. She is Affiliate Faculty at Tilburg University (The Netherlands) and holds a visiting professorship at Utrecht University’s School of Governance. She is also on the Ph.D. faculty in Social Psychology at the University of Parma, Italy. Her work focuses on dialogic transformation within a variety of social and institutional contexts including health care. She is author of Relational Responsibility: Resources for Sustainable Dialogue, with Kenneth Gergen (Sage 1999) and Research and Social Change: A Relational Constructionist Approach, with Dian Marie Hosking (Routledge 2011). Sheila has published numerous books, articles and chapters on social constructionist theory and practice. She actively engages in constructionist practices in a variety of contexts, bringing communities of participants with diverse and often opposing viewpoints together to create livable futures.

Jeff Cohn, MD, MHCM, is the president of Plexus Institute. Prior to assuming the Plexus presidency, he was the Chief Quality Officer and Patient Safety Officer for Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While at Einstein, he led an initiative to reduce patient infection rates and worked closely with Plexus to use liberating structures and positive deviance to transform the Network’s approach to addressing patient safety. These techniques were instrumental in the success of the project, which resulted in sustainable 75% decrease in Network infection rates and vastly improved expenses. This experience led to Dr. Cohn’s involvement on the Plexus Board of Directors, in 2011 becoming the Institute’s Chairman, and in June 2012 becoming the Institute’s President. He graduated from Jefferson Medical College and received a Masters in Healthcare Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. He currently teaches in Jefferson’s School of Population Health. He speaks frequently on how to create the conditions for the social/cultural improvement work necessary for our most complex and intractable healthcare challenges.

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