streamlining communication processes including clinical rounds H e a l t h M e d i c a l
Interprofessional Collaboration is defined as “several health workers from various professional backgrounds working together with patients, families, caregivers, and communities to provide the best possible care” (O’ Connor, 2019). In healthcare, interprofessional collaboration is not a new principle. The Institute of Medicine recommended team-based patient care in 1972 as a means of improving patient outcomes and safety. The concept took a time to catch on, but it’s been a hot subject since the Interprofessional Education Collaborative was formed in 2009 by the nation’s premier healthcare education organizations. Since then, the World Health Organization and other global health organizations have emphasized the importance of interprofessional education as a means of improving not only individual patient care but also global health populations (O’ Connor, 2019).
Interprofessional collaboration, also known as multidisciplinary collaboration, is critical in providing complete, safe, and therapeutic patient care. Stressors including large patient loads, rising expectations on nurses and other direct care providers, and system-wide financial hardship can lead to a variety of miscommunications and conflicts among members of the healthcare team in today’s healthcare environment (Jenkins, 2021). As a result, increasing interprofessional collaboration is critical to reducing unfavorable events, improving teamwork, communication, and, most importantly, improving patient outcomes. Moreover, communication, respect, and trust, disproportionate authority, recognizing professional responsibilities, and job prioritization are all major aspects that affect collaboration (Jenkins, 2021). As an example, the ability to convey patients’ requirements to the relevant services and providers underpins the whole healthcare system. Breaks in communication are common in a system that is already overburdened. There are several potentials for miscommunication between members of the interprofessional team, from in-person communication to telecommunications. The bottom line is that when communication is inefficient, the interprofessional team is unable to function in unison, putting collaborative efforts at risk. Nurses advocate for improved communication that focuses on streamlining communication processes including clinical rounds, safety huddles, staff meetings, and documentation/reporting systems that are interoperable with critical electronic data management systems (Jenkins, 2021). In addition, mutual respect and trust among healthcare practitioners have long been a source of contention. According to a recent study, some physicians refuse to listen to nurses’ recommendations for patient care. Regardless of whether the physician has reasonable grounds for not accepting the nurses’ advice, it is often viewed as disrespectful. When someone feels disrespected by someone or a group of people, their faith in that person or group of people is naturally decreased. This problem affects all members of the interprofessional team, not just nurses. Nurses are also assisting in the transformation of this culture by demonstrating respect and trust while holding their peers accountable, therefore establishing an example for the rest of the interprofessional team (Jenkins, 2021).
Jenkins, D. (2021, April 13). Nurses enhance interprofessional collaboration. The Nurse Speak. https://thenursespeak.com/nurses-enhance-interprof…
O’Connor, W. (2019, November 4). 5 benefits of interprofessional collaboration in healthcare. Tiger Connect. https://tigerconnect.com/blog/5-benefits-of-interp…
Collaboration is important to use for nurses due to their busy schedules and multiple patient interactions. For example, pharmacy can be a great resource to work alongside to deliver safe medications to patients (Yoder-Wise, 2019, p.516). Thus, this is an asset for patients and for cost saving reasons. Pharmacists have multiple years of training and schooling that can be beneficial towards safety. Thus, they are great to use for clarification. According to Porter-O’Grady (2015), one needs trust and diversity in collaboration (as cited in Yoder-Wise, 2019, p.517). For example, two nurses may not cooperate well together and may view the other person as being malicious. In the event of a stressful situation, one of the nurses may hesitate asking the nurse to check on a crying patient. Thus, this may prolong care and lead to negative reviews from the patient. To add, flexibility and being open-minded are two essential components in collaboration (Yoder-Wise, 2019, p.522). For example, a nurse who has more experience than a newly hired nurse may be inflexible in listening to new nurse’s techniques for administering IV fluids. The new nurse may have learned a quicker and more efficient way of administering IV fluids that could save time. However, the inability of the more experienced nurse to listen to the new nurse is an issue in collaboration. Thus, these are some issues in collaboration.
Yoder-Wise, P.S. (2019). Developing the role of manager. In Elsevier (Ed.), Leading and managing in nursing. (7th ed., pp. 516-522). Elsevier.