A number of enablers have been identified to assist in problem-solving issues that can arise in collaborations.

  • Get all the accurate facts to help you with your decision making;
  • Understand the details of the situation: Do your homework before jumping to quick decisions;
  • Consider potential roadblocks and brainstorm ways to solve the problem or issue.

You and your collaborators should invest energy in trying to understand the pros and cons of the issue from all perspectives. You don’t want to say “If I had only known.” To address a problem, you need to have information about the issue or concern that is as accurate and complete as possible. It is also important to take into account potential roadblocks, such as deadlines or prerequisites, in order that the fullest consideration in given during the problem-solving stage.

ListenListen to the primary care dietitian and hear her experience with problem solving.

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Other problem solving enablers include:

  • Build good relationships with all partners in the collaboration,
  • Flexible and  inclusive in your problem-solving processes,
  • Engage in continuous communication,
  • Use technology effectively to communicate between all members of the collaboration,
  • Be tenacious and keep working on the issues.

Social Worker“We were able to problem solve by having good relationships …it can really help sometimes when it matters.”

The problem-solving process is also facilitated by being flexible and inclusive.

ListenListen to the primary care dietitian to hear her experience with problem solving.

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If individuals run into any concerns or problems that need solutions then effective communication is critically important.

Related: Effective Communications

Woman using computerCommunication can be facilitated through technology
When facing a problem that needs a solution, sometimes it’s best to just send a quick email.

Technology issues can affect information sharing that is needed to solve problems in public health and primary care collaboration. Make certain the e-communication systems are working properly and are being used.

Do not assume that because someone has an email address that they are checking it regularly. First, ask about preferred modes of communication.

Related: Health Service Structures that Promote Collaboration

“When technology works, it’s wonderful. You can communicate with public health quickly and when it doesn’t …well, it doesn’t. 🙁

It is important to be tenacious and keep working on the issue until it is resolved.

Public Health NurseA public health nurse explains:  “And so we work together to solve this problem and that problem. We keep moving along, to keep trucking along. We hit the issue, resolve it, go on, and let everyone know. So, it’s having tenacity.”

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