FOSTERING MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS KEEP HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND PATIENTS SAFE
- Posted by: samuel312
- Category: Healthcare Profession
A multidisciplinary team can positively protect the safety of both healthcare workers and patients. The demand for a multidisciplinary team is increasing due to the increasing complexity of diseases, co-morbidities and the complexity of specialization of care. In addition, older adults are living longer and the increase in chronic diseases has complicated the management of patients suffering from multiple health problems. Gone are the days when a doctor or any other health practitioner in any health organization would be able to deliver the highest quality care that solely satisfies all patients. Working in stressful conditions where healthcare workers are required to make quick decisions may lead to errors among staff. These decisions may eventually lead to patient harm or even harm to another healthcare worker. (Kumar, 2016).
A multidisciplinary team is where healthcare professionals from various disciplines work together to deliver comprehensive care that can address as many of the patient’s needs as possible. An ideal multidisciplinary team for patient care includes the following:
- Medical Specialist
- General Practitioners
- Allied health professionals such as but are not limited to pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, audiologists, psychologists and social workers.
Though just filling the vacancy for the team does not suffice as a multidisciplinary team. It is also essential to review how the team is organized to get the best out of the team’s various skills to provide effective and optimum care.
Multidisciplinary teams can convey different benefits to the patients and healthcare workers working on the team (Doulougeri, K., & Montgomery, A., 2019). These may bring forth
- Optimized health outcomes
- Enhanced patient satisfaction
- Effective and efficient usage of resources
- Improve time management
- Enhanced job satisfaction for team members.
In order to ensure the functioning of the team and effective patient outcomes, the role of the multidisciplinary team in delivering care must be negotiated and defined.
This may require
- Understanding each other’s role in the team
- Mutual respect and trust among team members
- Task delegation based on the best use of skill mix within the team
- Willing to share responsibility for patient care
- Agreed systems and protocols for communication and interaction between team members.
- Establishment of a mechanism for negotiation and renegotiation of roles and goals over time.
While collaborating with team members from different backgrounds can be challenging, achievement can bring significant change to work practices and organization arrangements (Fleissig et al, 2016). Placing the patient in the centre of care and sharing a wide-based culture of values and principles will help develop an effective team. This delivers not only exceptional care to the patients but also attracts new talents by offering professionally satisfying working environments.
Chew Jin Yew
KPJ Ipoh Specialist Hospital