Objectives: The aim of follow-up visits by the general practitioner and district nurse (within a week after discharge from hospital) is to reduce hospital readmissions and improve the overall wellbeing of the patient. There is strong evidence that these programmes are effective, but are difficult to implement because of a number of organizational obstacles, including co-ordination between the organizations involved in the process. In this paper we look at the factors that affect motivation to participate in a cross-sectoral programme in Copenhagen, Denmark, implementing follow-up home visits to elderly persons. Theory and methods: The analysis is based on inter-organizational network theory in an attempt to explain the role of motivation in network formation between organizational systems. The empirical findings are based on focus groups and in-depth interviews with hospital staff, general practitioners, and district nurses. Results: Care providers are motivated to collaborate by a number of factors. The focus of collaboration needs to be clearly defined and agreed upon, there needs to be a high degree of equality between the professionals involved, and there has to be a will to co-operate based on a shared understanding of values and learning potentials. Conclusions: The study concludes that we need to focus on specific care fields and actors to reduce complexity in the area and more fully understand what motivates care providers to participate in cross-sectoral activities, such as a follow-up home visit programme. One lesson for current policy is that motivational factors need to be addressed in future collaborative programmes in order to fully exploit the potential health benefits.
International Journal of Integrated Care, 2011, Vol 11, Issue juli-sept., p. 1-9