Is it worth engaging in multi-stakeholder health services research collaborations? Reflections on key benefits, challenges and enabling mechanisms

Int J Qual Health Care. 2014 Apr;26(2):124-8. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzu009. Epub 2014 Feb 10.


Multi-Stakeholder Health Services Research Collaborations (M-SHSRCs) are increasingly pursued internationally to undertake complex implementation research that aims to directly improve the organisation and delivery of health care. Yet the empirical evidence supporting M-SHSRCs' capacity to achieve such goals is limited, and significant impediments to effective implementation are identified in the literature. This dichotomy raises the question, 'is it worth engaging in M-SHSRCs?' In this paper, we contribute to the narrative evidence-base by outlining key issues emerging from our substantial collaborative experience in Australia. Key benefits, challenges and mechanisms that may enable effective implementation of M-SHSRCs in other contexts are highlighted. We conclude that M-SHSRCs are worthwhile and succeed through significant financial, temporal and emotional investments.

Keywords: certification/accreditation of hospitals; external quality assessment; health system reform; implementation research; knowledge translation; quality improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration*