Analysis of a Pertinent Healthcare Issue
Healthcare is a dynamic field which keeps evolving based on new knowledge acquired from research. One of those pertinent healthcare issues whose uptake has been on the rise is interprofessional collaboration (IPC). IPC is a process where different healthcare professionals work as a team and involve the community, patients, caregivers, and family in the provision of high-quality care (Kersbergen et al., 2020). The main reason behind this is that the coordination allows each person to view healthcare from each other’s point of view, thus delivering high-quality patient-centered care. Traditionally healthcare workers used to work in groups consisting of specific health professionals as more emphasis was put on solo acts. However, in recent times people are advocating for healthcare workers to work in teams comprised of different healthcare professionals. This paper will describe the impact of interprofessional collaboration on my organization, give a summary of two articles on IPC, and explain how IPC is addressed in other healthcare organizations. It will also describe strategies that can be used to manage the organizational impacts of IPC and the effects of the strategies.
Impact of IPC on My Healthcare Organization
The healthcare organization I work for is gradually embracing interprofessional collaboration, and its impact has been enormous. For instance, the coordination of patient care has significantly improved. During rounds, different healthcare professionals are present, like a physician, nurse, and pharmacist. Since the pharmacist started attending rounds, the cases of adverse drug reactions have significantly reduced in the healthcare organization. Moreover, interprofessional collaboration has reduced the rate of staff turnover. Initially, it was reported that people left the organization due to frustration caused by lack of proper coordination, but since the IPC program was implemented, different healthcare professionals seem to be more happy and satisfied with their job.
Furthermore, medical errors have significantly reduced due to the increased collaboration and improved communication as a result of IPC. Like in any other healthcare organization, impaired communication is linked to an increased probability of a medical error. The quality of care provided to patients attending our organization has also significantly improved. This is because of various factors. For instance, IPC has made it easy to refer patients from other healthcare facilities to our facility. This is because it ensures all the necessary patient information is transferred together with the patient. Thus, it reduces the risks that usually occur to patients during transfer. Improved communication also ensures that every aspect of the patient is comprehensively taken care of due to the efficient flow of information between different healthcare professionals (Bosch & Mansell, 2015).
When a healthcare team is formed around a patient, it allows maximum attention to be provided to the patient and improves the quality of care provided to the patient (Reeves et al., 2017). IPC has also placed different professionals in my organization at the same level. Hence, we can work as a unit and push for the agenda to improve patient care and working conditions of healthcare workers as a unit.
I am going to briefly explain the review of the two articles on interprofessional collaboration.
Article 1: The article is titled “Interprofessional collaboration in health care: Lessons to be learned from competitive sports.” It is written by Brennan Bosch and Holly Mansell. The article states that for the delivery of healthcare to be successful, healthcare workers have to coordinate like players of highly successful teams. This means that they have to be responsible, accountable, disciplined, collaborative, and have good communication skills. Moreover, each member of a healthcare team has to be given a specific role to play, just like the role clarity seen in competitive sports. Just like in competitive sports if team members have overlapping roles, it can result in confusion that can lead to the ineffectiveness of the team (Bosch & Mansell, 2015). Moreover, even though some members of a team may have administrative roles, other members should also be allowed to air their opinions freely. Bosch & Mansell (2015) say that like in competitive sports, members should give more attention to winning together. Thus, members should put their egocentric self aside and work as a team.
Article 2: The article is titled “Interprofessional collaboration to improve professional practice and healthcare outcomes.” It is written by Scott Reeves, Ferruccio Pelone, Reema Harrison, Joanne Goldman, Merrick Zwarenstein, Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Group. The article looked at various types of IPC interventions. These included interprofessional activities, meetings, rounds and checklists. The article states that impaired IPC can negatively affect service delivery in healthcare. It says that work failures have been documented as a result of impaired collaboration, due to lack of adherence to recommended practices. IPC also promotes proper utilization of the available healthcare resources. When interprofessional collaboration is externally facilitated, it improves patients’ outcomes as healthcare workers tend to adhere more to recommended practices (Reeves et al., 2017). It states that when interprofessional rounds and checklists are used, they enable optimal utilization of available resources, and thus wastage is minimized. The article also concluded that multidisciplinary audio conferencing might extend the length of treatment compared to multidisciplinary video conferencing.
How IPC Is Addressed In Other Healthcare Organizations
Interprofessional collaboration is continuously being included in the operations of other healthcare organizations. This is because of the mutual respect it cultivates and the level playing ground it provides for various healthcare workers. It also allows individual team members to provide different perspectives when it comes to healthcare service provision. Moreover, Buchmueller & Wittwer (2017) say that the enactment of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 paved the way for increased inclusion of IPC in the provision of primary care services.
Strategies Used To Address the Organizational Impact of IPC
Various strategies are used to address the organizational impact of interprofessional collaboration. In the articles I reviewed, research and systemic reviews were used to address the organizational implications. Research can involve administering questionnaires to healthcare workers and patient and asking them about their experience with IPC. Patients should be asked about if the quality of care improved as a result of IPC, while healthcare workers should be asked about the effects of interprofessional collaboration on their morale and job satisfaction. These strategies positively affect my healthcare organization as they make it possible for the quality of care provided to be accessed. They also offer a room for improvement of services.
As discussed in this paper inclusion of IPC has been of great benefit and has significantly contributed to the provision of high-quality healthcare services. More research needs to be done on the impact of IPC so that more effective strategies of implementing IPC can be developed.