Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare

The Benefits of Using Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare

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Healthcare is constantly evolving in the face of new technology, treatments, and general attitudes within the industry. Nowadays, healthcare is much less of an independent effort. Instead, it is much more representative of a team sport than anything else. The typical patient who visits the hospital will be able to experience features given by a whole array of experts; this also applies to patients who are receiving their regular Annual Wellness Visit as well. So, interprofessional collaboration is seen much more frequently in healthcare, but what are the actual benefits of this, and is it something that should continue? The short answer is yes, but that still begs the question as to why that is, more specifically, what actually are the benefits of interprofessional collaboration within healthcare? 

What is Interprofessional Collaboration Within Healthcare? 

Before diving straight into the benefits of such collaboration, it is worth clearly defining what interprofessional collaboration within healthcare is. It is defined by the World Health Organization as “multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work[ing] together with patients, families, carers (caregivers), and communities to deliver the highest quality of care.” 

Sure, you could argue that this kind of practice has always taken place within hospitals, but it has evolved much more than just data sharing between nurses and physicians. This kind of collaboration can now come in the form of actually putting together healthcare plans. Consider the AWV Medicare that this company offers, which allows them to help put together treatment plans and ensure that appointments are not missed by patients. By using new technology and software, the looking after of patients can be a lot more streamlined and accurate; however, collaboration is very much a key part of this. 

So, now that you know what it is, what are the benefits of actually using it? 

You Can Improve Patient Care and the Outcome of Care 

Each patient is completely unique with a different set of circumstances leading up to them visiting a hospital or needing a care plan and, of course, with a completely different outlook on the kind of treatment they should receive. Given that every patient is unique, surely it will be impossible to find one healthcare professional that can cater to all of their needs? People who work in healthcare are intelligent, but they are not so much so that they can completely replicate a patient’s circumstances and offer treatment in light of as much. No, it will take a whole team of people in order to do that, and that team are going to need to collaborate with one another

Each type of medical professional will be able to bring with them a completely unique perspective and some valuable insight into the patient and what the best way to treat them will be. They are going to notice different symptoms to one another and will consider different causes and ways forward in light of those symptoms. As such, by working together, they are going to have a much more comprehensive view of the patient and how they should be treated. 

This benefit is clearly recognized as hospitals are now encouraging team-based, patient-centered rounds that will include having with them a primary doctor, nurses, and also specialized physicians. This means that all of the potential bases can be covered, and the patient is going to receive better treatment as a result. 

There is the Reduction in Medical Errors 

Similar to the above, when you are encouraging collaboration, and people from a variety of different disciplines are looking over a patient, the chances of missing something or making a mistake are reduced massively. It’s easy to see just how these mistakes could occur as there are a variety of multiple doctors prescribing different medications and giving a patient different versions of advice. If these doctors are not communicating with one another effectively, then the chance of these errors occurring is only going to increase. And what are the most effective ways to stop such errors from occurring? Interprofessional collaboration, of course! This would involve having group conversations about the well-being of patients, where pharmacists are looped in, and nurses are provided with all of the information that will be necessary in order to treat their patients. 

Improve Staff Relationships and Job Satisfaction 

Of course, the benefits of increased collaboration do not start and stop with the patients. Working in healthcare can be incredibly stressful, and as such, staff need to feel as comfortable as possible when working, whether this is on the ward, in the office, or in the back rifling through medication. By encouraging participation, more staff are encouraged to work together and build relationships within the workforce. 

Not to mention, in many different workforces, there can often be problems when it comes to establishing some kind of power dynamic. A lot of staff members may feel overlooked by their colleagues and undervalued as a result. This can often happen in a healthcare setting, as some nurses may feel overlooked by doctors. When you encourage collaboration, you are essentially giving all employees the chance to be equals and voice their opinions. This is going to make people much more comfortable working in the future, and it will also feed into the previous point of increased client care due to the fact more people will be putting forward ideas. 

Conclusion 

It seems that different industries from all over the world are constantly adapting, and this is necessary so that they can move with the times. In no industry is this more important than it is in healthcare as a failure to adapt and develop practices over time that better look after a patient could result in complications or even death. 

It seems the most recent form of these developments can be seen in the fact there is a much greater push towards interprofessional collaboration. This has a lot of benefits such as the improved care of patients, the reduction in mistakes, and also a huge increase in the overall quality of staff relationships and job satisfaction. 

 

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