Benefits of a Multidisciplinary Team in Healthcare
A multidisciplinary team is a unit of specialized health professionals from different fields working together. A multidisciplinary team may work with multiple patients, but each patient receives individual attention from each team member. The department develops detailed care plans to organize its services, optimize treatment and identify specific goals.
Multidisciplinary teams are essential because they allow patients to receive comprehensive and individualized care from specialists in specific disciplines. Collaboration with experts can help patients get the services and treatments they need. These professionals can meet patients' complex needs without ignoring issues that may exacerbate existing conditions. These professionals can interact with each other to discuss potential challenges, like medications that can interact with one another.
Advantages of Multidisciplinary Teams
Multidisciplinary teams are becoming an increasingly popular long-term patient care strategy to provide high-quality, individualized care for patients with chronic and other conditions. Each member of the team should not only possess the expertise and professionalism to work with patients but should also be able to work in harmony with other team members. Building a team requires careful recruitment, training, and communication.
Forming multidisciplinary teams can:
Enhance the Quality of Care
Multidisciplinary teams can improve the quality of patient care, whether patients are inpatient or outpatient. This type of team consists of professionals with extensive experience and knowledge. Since each member has received different professional training, patients can receive more targeted treatment for their ailments. A multidisciplinary team can also help patients feel more comfortable throughout their treatment. There may be people in this department, like clinical social workers, whose responsibilities include educating patients and their families about the patient's condition and providing emotional support resources.
Better Patient Outcomes
Multidisciplinary teams can also improve patient outcomes. As a unit, a multidisciplinary team can take a more holistic approach to a patient's health, with each member using their specialized skills to treat and manage specific issues. Your efforts can provide patients with shorter recovery times and improve their long-term health prospects. This holistic and multifaceted treatment can prevent future complications or conditions that individual physicians may not notice or treat.
Increase Employee Satisfaction
Individual employees can benefit from multidisciplinary teams. Working in such a unit encourages a sense of community and interaction among doctors, nurses, dietitians, and other professionals within the facility. These professionals are happier working together than alone and learn more about how their areas of expertise interact with those of others. Members of multidisciplinary teams can also maintain a sense of autonomy because they have specific roles within their unit. They can always seek advice and support from other team members to implement the care plan and develop a discharge plan.
The Key to Successful Multidisciplinary Teams
Here are some tips for being successful as part of a multidisciplinary team:
Promote Complete Awareness
While healthcare professionals are usually focused on their specialty, they may notice something is wrong with some aspect of a patient's condition. For example, if a GP notices that a patient's blood pressure readings are still high months after seeing a cardiologist, they can discuss the issue with the cardiologist. If healthcare professionals address issues professionally, they can positively contribute to a patient's overall health.
Multidisciplinary care increases healthcare facility productivity and saves time. Attempting to provide care across the healthcare system without coordination leads to errors in communication and care. Working on a care team has been shown to reduce duplication of effort as tasks are communicated and delegated to members to avoid such situations.
Standardized Systems and Protocols
All multidisciplinary team members can discuss specific steps and protocols before executing patient care. Communication helps each member understand their unique role. During the first meeting, members can set expectations and discuss how team members can contribute productively. If disagreements arise in the future, teams can refer to their established governance and communication standards for guidance on how to proceed.
Building Trust and Respect
Members of a multidisciplinary team are likely to interact with each other frequently. All multidisciplinary team members benefit from building trust and mutual respect before committing to caring for a patient. You can acknowledge that each member has their expertise and agree not to interfere with others. Multidisciplinary team units can also strive to create a culture that encourages transparency and recognizes the strengths of each member.
Since multidisciplinary teams manage patient care, they benefit from prioritizing their department's goals. Multidisciplinary teams can identify barriers to patient improvement and suggest ways to overcome them. Team members can set patient-specific goals and consider how their performance can be adjusted to meet those goals. These goals may include helping the patient recover and return to a normal lifestyle.
Putting Together a Multidisciplinary Team
The first step in building an effective healthcare team is identifying the needs of your patient population so you can find physicians who can provide individualized patient care. Nursing team members should be experts in their fields and be able to provide effective and professional care to meet the needs of their patient population. There should also be a similar philosophy of respect among the physicians on the team. To build a team of patient-centered providers, each team member must want to deliver patient-centered care.
The type of provider you hire may also depend on the healthcare needs of your patient population. Tailoring a multidisciplinary care team to a patient's needs can improve outcomes and patient satisfaction, increase team cohesion, and save time training and educating new providers.
Set Defined Goals
For care teams to work efficiently, it is essential to define each provider's role. This includes what recommendations are made to the patient and how often they are communicated.
Coordinating patient engagement strategies is especially important when working on a multi-vendor team. Patients can be overwhelmed when every provider they work with stops by several times a week, asking similar questions and making equivalent recommendations. Providers who delegate engagement tasks to the entire team avoid duplication of communication with patients, effectively implement recommendations and make patients clear.
In your team meetings, it's also important to delegate tasks to each provider. These tasks may include patient engagement, writing care plans, or scheduling appointments. Assigning projects to individual suppliers ensures that nothing is duplicated, saving time and creating more efficient teams.
Build Team Coherence
Effective internal communication among providers, managers, and administrators within a large healthcare organization can be complex. Different departments, shifts, and schedules can prevent members from interacting with each other daily, although collaboration within the organization is essential. Especially in healthcare, where communication strategy focuses on external communication with customers, internal communication can easily be overlooked.
Use internal communication strategies to build team cohesion to ensure the best care for your team's patients. The most crucial step is to establish clear lines of communication between suppliers. Research shows that organizational communication is becoming more common in which all members engage in a dialogue rather than one-way communication from managers or executives.
Software that allows easy scheduling, billing, and client retention will simplify team communication. Best of all, a cloud-based platform allows shared access to client records among care team providers, enabling easy and secure patient information sharing. Cloud-based platforms are highly secure, cost-effective, and scalable solution for medical practices that stores digital health records on external servers in the cloud (rather than on-premises server hardware), providing interoperability and enabling secure information sharing. This way, each provider can comprehensively view the patient's health and easily make recommendations without constant consultation with other providers.