McMaster University

McMaster University

Funding Within Faculty of Health Sciences — Project 4

Project 4 — PIER Project — a Process Oriented Approach to Enhancing Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Relationship Centered Care

Web: PIER Project

Principal Investigators

  • Sue Baptiste, MHSc, OT Reg (Ont), FCAOT
  • Cathy Risdon, MD, CCFP, FCFP

Co Investigators

  • Patty Solomon, PhD, PT
  • Catherine Tompkins, RN, PhD

Goals & Objectives:

The purpose of the PIER Project (a Process Oriented Approach to Enhancing Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Relationship Centered Care) is to demonstrate the application of a relationship-centred approach to collaborative practice and interprofessional learning involving three practice sites within the McMaster University Health Sciences network. The sites are McMaster Family Practice, Regina Gardens and Stonechurch Family Health Centre.

The assumption underlying the PIER Project is that organizational culture can be thought of as the incremental accumulation and transmission of routine practices, often taken for granted.

Culture change may result from interventions designed to either inquire into routine practice and/or perhaps encourage organizations to reconsider what was previously taken without question.

In order to conduct organizational inquiry and provide support for potential changes in practice within the two primary care settings and one long term care facility, a modified participatory action research (PAR) approach is being utilized.


The PIER Project has three phases that reflect an exponential and emergent process of learning and growth within practice settings:

Phase 1: “Building Collaborative Practice” is facilitated by Coaches and Champions at the participant sites and addresses:

  • The development of clinical projects
  • Heightened awareness of team functioning
  • The exploration of relationships
  • The development of strong respectful culture

Phase 2: “Interprofessional Consolidation” brings students into the centre of the enterprise and addresses:

  • The development of an education project
  • Effective team development
  • Collaborative practice
  • Interprofessional education

Phase 3: “Evaluation & Sustainability” addresses:

  • Consolidation & evaluation of the project process
  • Exploration of innovations & changes across sites
  • Reflection on learning
  • Growth & further creativity

As the project enters phase two, the interim findings cluster around the ethics approval process, the methods of evaluation and the nature of participation in a project such as PIER.

The Project will conclude with an Immersion Conference on May 8th and 9th 2008.

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