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Relational Coordination in VA

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Relational Coordination in VA Program

Funded through a 3-year SDR grant with HSR&D, the Relational Coordination in VA program offers VA researchers and staff access to the Relational Coordination Survey at no-cost along with educational opportunities to learn about the role of Relational Coordination in healthcare.

What is Relational Coordination?

Relational Coordination is a mutually reinforcing process of communicating and relating for the purpose of task integration.

Relational Coordination has been shown to improve team performance and high reliability through improved communication and relationships within and between teams.

What is the RC Survey?

The RC Survey is an evidence-based 7-item survey that enables researchers and organizations to understand where relationships are strongest/weakest within and between teams in a work process and determine next steps to improve performance and increase relational coordination. Download a copy of 7-item survey.

  1. Frequent communication: How frequently do people in these groups communicate with you about [insert work process]?
  2. Timely communication: How timely is their communication with you about [insert work process]?
  3. Accurate communication:How accurate is their communication with you about [insert work process]?
  4. Problem solving communication: When there is a problem in [insert work process], do people in these groups blame others or try to solve the problem?
  5. Shared goals: How much do people in these groups share your goals in [insert work process]?
  6. Shared knowledge: How much do people in these groups know about the work you do with [insert work process]?
  7. Mutual respect: How much do people in these groups respect the work you do with [insert work process]?

Through the RC in VA program, the RC Survey can be administered by research or operations teams using the survey platform of their choice at no-cost.

RC Analytics, a measurement and analytics company, will provide guidance on survey design, administration and data analysis to ensure project aims are aligned with the structure of relational coordination.

Ready to Apply?

Simply download the Relational Coordination in VA program application and send it to:


Video: RC in VA journal club: Relational Analytic Chapter 1


Video: Relational Facilitation for the VA Quadruple Aim QUERI
with Heather M. Gilmartin, PhD

This 9-minute educational video describes the background and implementation of relational facilitation for healthcare teams engaged in the Quadruple Aim QUERI. Grounded in the theory of relational coordination, this unique facilitation approach aims to assess and improve relationships and communication among and between teams to improve Veteran care.


Learn more about Relational Coordination in the VA?

Revising Relational Coordination: A Systematic Review

Listen to Dr. Jody Gittell speak about Building Relational Coordination for High Performance in the VA

VA studies that investigated Relational Coordination

Connelly et al (2021): A dissemination strategy to promote relational coordination in the veterans health administration: a case study

Gilmartin et al (2020): Practices to Support Relational Coordination in Care Transitions

Rosen et al (2020): Access to Pain Care from Compensation Clinics: A Relational Coordination Perspective

Anderson et al (2020): Care Coordination for Veterans with COPD: A Positive Deviance Study

Altalib et al (2019): Measuring coordination of epilepsy care: A mixed methods evaluation of social network analysis versus relational coordination

Mohr et al (2019): Organizational coordination and Patient Experiences of Specialty Care Integration

RC in Healthcare Section for Publications

House et al (2021): Relational coordination and staff outcomes among healthcare professionals: a scoping review.

Blakeney et al (2021): Sustaining improvements in relational coordination following team training and practice change: A longitudinal analysis.

Tingvold et al (2021): Shared goals, communication and mutual respect in multicultural staff teams: A relational coordination perspective.

Thygeson et al (2021): Relational interventions for organizational learning: An experience report.

Bligaard Madsen et al (2021): Relational coordination in inter-organizational settings. How does lack of proximity affect coordination between hospital-based and community-based healthcare providers?

IRB and Report Examples

Three (3) examples of approved IRB Informed Consent forms:
Example 1 | Example 2 | Example 3

Sample verbiage for folks to include in IRB/administrative/union documents regarding the access and handling of RC Survey data

A sample of a RC Survey report

An example of a Union Notification document used when surveying VA staff

Listen to RC in VA Podcast Episode on Health Findings in Focus

The first episode of the new podcast Health Findings in Focus features an interview with Heather! It is a great introduction to Relational Coordination and what we want to accomplish. Have a listen:

SGIM 2022: Enhancing Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Team-Based Care in the Times of COVID-19 The Role of Relational Coordination

With Brigid B. Connelly, Heather M. Gilmartin, Christine D. Jones
April 2022

Download the presentation

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For more information or a consultation with the RC in VA program team about your project, contact

Our Team


Brigid Connelly, BA
Title: Project Manager

Heather Gilmartin, PhD, NP
Title: Project Lead

Ready to Apply?

Simply download the Relational Coordination in VA program application and send it to: