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Muir Gray: Creating a network for systems of care

21 Nov, 12 | by BMJ

Muir GrayRead the rest of this series of blogs about designing and planning population based systems of care here.

Step 6: Creating a network

The network is the set of individuals and organisations that delivers the system to the populations.

At the start of the project it is also important to agree who the partners are who will contribute to the service. In the first meeting of the systems development project it should be clear who the partners are, namely those organisations who have to make a commitment to develop and deliver the system. The governance of this network may take more time to develop.

One person needs to be given the responsibility for co-ordinating the network  and this will require the development of population medicine skills in a proportion of specialists.

Sometimes people ask if “network” is a noun or a verb. It is possible to use it as a “doing” word i.e. “networking” defined as:

“a broad concept referring to a form of organised transacting that offers an alternative to either markets or hierarchies.  It refers to transactions across an organisation’s boundaries that are recurrent and involve continuing relationships with a set of partners. The transactions are coordinated and controlled on a mutually agreed basis that is likely to require common protocols and systems, but do not necessarily require direct supervision by the organization’s own staff.”

Source:  Child J. Organization: Contemporary Principles and Practice. Blackwell Publishing, 2005.

To lovers of grammar this is of course a gerund!

Muir Gray is visiting professor of knowledge management, Nuffield Department of Surgery, University of Oxford.

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