HPP 188 July: Exploring Proxy Measures of Mutuality for Strategic Partnership Development: A Case Study

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Partnerships between academic and clinical-based health organizations are becoming increasingly important in improving health outcomes. Mutuality is recognized as a vital component of these partnerships. If partnerships are to achieve mutuality, there is a need to define what it means to partnering organizations. Few studies have described the elements contributing to mutuality, particularly in new relationships between academic and clinical partners. This study seeks to identify how mutuality is expressed and to explore potential proxy measures of mutuality for an alliance consisting of a hospital system and a School of Public Health. Key informant interviews were conducted with faculty and hospital representatives serving on the partnership steering committee. Key informants were asked about perceived events that led to the development of the Alliance; perceived goals, expectations, and outcomes; and current/future roles with the Alliance. Four proxy measures of mutuality for an academic–clinical partnership were identified: policy directives, community beneficence, procurement of human capital, and partnership longevity. Findings can inform the development of tools for assisting in strengthening relationships and ensuring stakeholders’ interests align with the mission and goal of the partnership by operationalizing elements necessary to evaluate the progress of the partnership.

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