Document Type: Commentary
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC, Australia
Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research - Alfred Health Partnership, Institute for Health Transformation, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research - Monash Health Partnership, Institute for Health Transformation, Clayton, VIC, Australia
Partnerships have various purposes and exist in many configurations. Although there has been a refocusing in health system research on forming strategic partnerships between researchers and knowledge users (KUs) to maximise the relevance and uptake of research in practice; research knowledge frequently fails to reach KUs nor impact the community served. Whilst there have been many attempts to engage KUs, researchers and decisionmakers often promote a top down approach that has lacked insight into KUs’ specific needs and values. Bowen and colleagues uncovered a plethora of negative experiences from a group of Canadian health leaders involved in researcher partnerships. Their comments reflect their experiences seemingly at an earlier stage of a partnership so we were not surprised by their pessimism. However, our experience reflects an established research-health service partnership network where we collaborate and co-create for mutual benefit and with a shared purpose. The reason for its sustained success over several decades is the focus on co-creation of value between stakeholders. Reimagining must prioritise a paradigm shift towards value co-creation if partnerships are to create opportunities for innovation, productivity and impact.