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Strengthening Interdisciplinary Collaboration

By reading this study, members will learn:

  • Why hospitals have a renewed focus on strengthening collaboration across disciplines
  • Why challenges in today’s inpatient environment make it more difficult for caregivers to collaborate effectively
  • How to improve face-to-face communication
  • How to overcome communication barriers created by space and time
  • How to ensure all care team members work toward the same patient goals

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Interdisciplinary collaboration critical—but increasingly difficult

Interdisciplinary collaboration—a long-standing goal for inpatient clinical leaders—is more important than ever given its implications for clinical outcomes, patient experience, and caregiver efficiency. Yet, changes in the inpatient environment are making interdisciplinary collaboration all the more difficult to achieve.

Patients are becoming more acute, which means care teams must collaboratively address a growing number of needs for each patient. Care teams themselves are growing larger and more specialized, increasing the complexity of coordinating team members.

Additionally, with the proliferation of communication technologies, caregivers are increasingly likely to interact via a telephone or a screen rather than in person.

Strong collaboration leading to better outcomes

link between collaboration and outcomes

Strategies for strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration

The Center recommends a three-part framework for improving interdisciplinary collaboration:

  • Improve in-person communication. Empower caregivers to communicate accurately and comprehensively with other members of the care team.
  • Bridge communication barriers created by space and time. Ensure that caregivers who often do not work side-by-side are able to fully collaborate.
  • Establish common patient care goals. Put all care team members on the same page so they can combine their unique expertise to meet complex patient needs.

Read the full study to learn more

Strengthening Interdisciplinary Collaboration provides 10 best practices for successfully executing the Center’s three-part interdisciplinary collaboration strategy. These practices will enhance communication and partnership across disciplines and elevate organizational performance.

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