Date of Conferral





Health Services


Larry Fulton


Many studies have reported that the training for practitioners does not stimulate reflexes that contribute to the tenets of teamwork and collaboration. No studies were found to investigate relational intelligence (RQ) in pharmacist-physician relationships as a catalyst for collaborative and hence cost effective quality care. This study addressed the role and potential opportunity to promote RQ as a critical leadership skill in the collaboration between pharmacists and physicians. Using RQ as the conceptual framework, this phenomenological study explored how pharmacists and physicians in a hospital setting perceive RQ as a leadership skill when working collaboratively. A total of 10 participants (5 pharmacists and 5 physicians) from a 443-bed comprehensive hospital in Michigan were selected using purposive sampling. Pharmacists and physicians included had at least 4 years of hospital experience. Data were collected through semistructured in-depth interviews and analyzed using the hierarchical approach. Results indicated interest among both pharmacists and physicians to use RQ as a leadership skill to work collaboratively. Further findings highlighted the need for face-to-face communication between pharmacists and physicians, better collaboration, accountability, feedback, focus and alignment, promotion of positive relationships, and a leadership position directed by a PhD-prepared practitioner with expertise in RQ. These findings bring awareness to both pharmacists and physicians of barriers to collaboration; these findings also suggest the need for multidisciplinary training that incorporates RQ theory as a foundation for both pharmacists and physicians, which may decrease health care costs while improving communication, trust, mutual understanding, collaboration, and quality care.