Interprofessional collaboration is an essential strategy to help achieve positive patient outcomes. Medical professionals use this team-based approach so that they can offer more comprehensive care to the patients they see. Let’s have a look at what Interprofessional collaboration really means in healthcare, what the benefits are of this strategy and how one can improve the quality of interprofessional collaboration.
Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare
Every healthcare professional needs to gather patient information, analyze potential courses of treatment and guide a patient’s care with the best interventions. Through interprofessional collaboration different professions and specialties come together to assure that the best information and care strategies are considered using a patient-centered approach. Medical professionals including surgeons, physicians, pharmacists, therapists and technicians must take the time to collaborate effectively in order to provide the best patient care. For example, with a complicated illness like cancer, interprofessional collaboration is helpful to treat the many symptoms, potential complications, medication side-effect and other aspects of the disease. A medical oncologist may give the diagnosis and be in charge of chemotherapy, a radiation oncologist may treat cancer with radiation, a surgical oncologist may remove cancerous tissue. Similarly, highly trained and experienced nurses assist during appointments and help manage challenges patients face when coping with cancer.
What are the Benefits of Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare
When diverse providers with substantial expertise and medical knowledge collaborate, they can develop a multi-disciplinary collaborative medical culture which results in a number of benefits.
Improved Patient Care
Collaboration among multiple medical professionals can improve an individual’s care. This is because every professional tends to evaluate the patient with a different specialized perspective and can contribute important insights to diagnoses and treatment. For example, a labor and delivery nurse may notice that a post-delivery patient is experiencing a spike in blood pressure and nausea. After noticing this, they can alert the obstetrician to a possible emergency. The obstetrician can examine the patient and may diagnose postpartum preeclampsia.
Means of communication technology can help medical teams in sharing observations and developing treatment plans. Electronic health records can grant access to important life-saving information, such as blood type, and allergies and also allow the medical team to build on previously completed work such as past observations, diagnostics and blood work.
Another way to truly bridge the communication gap and reduce communication barriers is to have a hospital communication app like Hucu.ai. Hucu.ai is a FREE HIPAA Compliant text messaging application that hospitals can use to solve communication problems and have improved patient care. The medical team can collaborate in real time, remotely and update each other about a patient’s health status.
Less Risk of Medical Mistakes
Interprofessional collaboration in healthcare results in medical teams sharing more information and improving communication, which reduces the risk of medical errors. For example, when a nurse records a patient’s history they can gather information about family histories and allergies. Good collaboration assures that this information is shared with the physician, who later speaks with the pharmacist after prescribing mediation. Collaborating and communicating comprehensively prevents allergic reactions to medications.
Hucu.ai is a single platform for interprofessional collaboration in healthcare so that healthcare professionals can keep each other updated with patient developments and chances of errors are reduced. When a nurse can contact the primary doctor any time with real-time notifications on Hucu.ai, she is more likely to not make a decision on her own that could be risky for the patient.
Quicker Treatment for Patients
Patients can see a medical professional and receive treatment without delays when hospitals are using an interprofessional collaboration approach. In-team communication and the use of electronic records can remove delays in processing treatments. For example, a patient who needs to get lab work and an X-ray as part of a rheumatological appointment can get both procedures done right after their appointment.
Because Interprofessional collaboration improves communication and patient care and reduces errors, it can also help reduce the cost of healthcare for patients. Better patient outcomes and quality care means that physicians order only necessary tests, treat conditions properly and the medical team collaborates to develop a customized treatment and recovery plan for the patient. Working together can resolve patient medical issues more quickly and reduce hospital stays.
Greater Job Satisfaction
Interprofessional collaboration also helps to create a pleasant work environment and culture in a medical facility. This can increase job satisfaction for all medical professionals who work in such a facility. Collaborating on tasks such as patient care helps build relationships and encourages employees to celebrate each other’s success. Receiving responsibility and trust from peers also helps all personnel to have a higher level of job satisfaction.
When teams use Hucu.ai to collaborate, they can experience higher job satisfaction. Hucu.ai has an exclusive feature to highlight star performers and to recognize a team member’s effort through “Hucu Honor Points”. This helps highlight hard-working staff members and create transparency in their recognition.
Four Easy Ways Improve Interprofessional Collaboration in Healthcare
Professionals can employ a number of ways to help improve teamwork skills and to deliver comprehensive care to patients through Interprofessional collaboration.
1. Create a Policy of Clear Communication
Develop policies, processes and standard communication practices across disciplines so that communication is very clear and frequent between professionals in all fields of collaboration. For example, it is important to make it clear nurses should observe and note in the patient logs so that they can communicate with physicians who are doing rounds and checking their patients. It is also important to establish frequent communication between the health professionals, patients and families.
All of this can be done with one hospital communication app; Hucu.ai. It is built for the healthcare industry and is an excellent way to incorporate interprofessional collaboration in a healthcare facility.
Hucu.ai is a healthcare communication app that allows care teams to communicate and collaborate seamlessly and securely on the go or at the point of care through text and even video. Healthcare professionals can collaborate about a specific patient in a channel in which only relevant staff members can be ‘invited to join’. Care teams can share their observations at each interaction and update the whole channel so that the next doctor can have those perspectives in mind when checking out the patient. Great communication improves the quality of care immensely.
2. Have More Multidisciplinary Rounds
Multidisciplinary rounds offer a simple way to improve communication between various specialists providing care and the patient. Each team member has an opportunity to discuss and share important information about the patient’s care plan and treatment. Team members and patients also get a chance to ask questions and learn from each other and while evaluating different perspectives on treatment. This communication can also be shared via Hucu.ai and the video conferencing feature in Hucu.ai when specialists need to consult each other but are physically apart.
3. Practice Interprofessional Respect
In order for interprofessional collaboration in healthcare to work wonders, team mates have to trust and respect each other. Listening to medical professionals and asking for their opinions is one way to demonstrate respect for their colleagues. It is necessary to be comfortable in sharing one’s own medical opinions, too.
Understanding the job roles of coworkers can also help a specialist become better at collaborating with them. If one knows the role of one’s teammate, it allows one to provide support, understand their perspective and realize their capabilities.
4. Focusing on the Patient
The main goal of healthcare is to improve the patient’s health by providing truly patient-centered care. When all team members are considering the patient’s wishes, situation, and options, it is easier to work collaboratively. Involving and giving credit when it is due can help medical professionals work together toward quality patient care focused on the patient’s unique needs.
Hucu.ai is a secure messaging healthcare app that helps achieve better communication in the medical field.
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