It is valid to say that interprofessional collaboration can benefit any type of clinical setting. It can improve patient outcomes by minimizing the incidence of preventable adverse drug reactions, reducing morbidity and mortality rates, and optimizing medication dosages (Bosch & Mansell, 2015). In the present paper, a general service hospital will be discussed as an example. It renders a variety of basic medical services to diverse patient populations with different health problems.
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Practitioners of distinct specialties often work with the same patients and thus may frequently discuss their health status. However, such discussions usually take place in extreme cases and are occasional rather than regular. Normally, each care provider primarily focuses on their individual duties and scopes of practice. Thus, there is a need to establish genuine interprofessional collaboration in this setting. The iCARE model will be applied in this paper to evaluate different nursing actions that could foster better collaboration there.
To foster compassionate collaboration, a nurse could employ the principles of respect and partnering. Mutual respect is a foundation of effective communication and better understanding. Thus, a nurse should aim to promote it when developing long-term partnerships with other professionals and patients. The possible outcome of such an approach is more effective conflict management, improved interprofessional communication, and a greater feeling of support, which inevitably translate into a better workplace climate (Pfaff & Markaki, 2017).
In addition, compassionate, collaborative care helps to deliver complex care plans more efficiently (Pfaff & Markaki, 2017). Greater compassion on the part of practitioners may also favorably affect patient satisfaction and help them cope with health problems much better.
Patient advocacy is a core responsibility of nurses and implies the identification and communication of patient interests. A nurse can perform a role of a middle person, identifying diverse needs of a patient or patients in general and acting on their behalf in order to satisfy those specific needs with the help of interprofessional team members (Davoodvand, Abbaszadeh, & Ahmadi, 2016). In addition, a nurse may utilize knowledge about patient interests to stimulate organizational/institutional change. Clearly, this approach can lead to a substantial enhancement of care efficiency, resulting in better patient outcomes.
Resilience implies adaptability to adverse and stressful circumstances, psychological flexibility, and optimism. According to Matheson, Robertson, Elliott, Iversen, and Murchie (2016), practitioners’ resilience can be challenged by information overload, time pressures, and poor communication. Thus, the best action to undertake in order to improve resilience is the enhancement of interprofessional communication. By talking to colleagues, not only can one learn new techniques but also receive psycho-emotional support that may help to cope with excess stress. In this way, a professional will improve his own work efficiency and contribute to the maintenance of a positive work climate where the risk of conflicts due to stress is low.
To contribute to better evidence-based practice (EBP), a nurse should promote the use of various evidence-based behavioral practice models. One of such models was developed by the team of the National Institutes of Health and is based on an ecological framework, suggesting that “in order to promote change, one must influence multiple levels that include interpersonal, organizational, community, and public policy” (Newhouse & Spring, 2010).
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It means that shared decision-making among practitioners, patients, hospital administrators, and other stakeholders is essential to improve evidence-based practice. Such an action can result in greater team expertise and efficacy and improve the overall safety culture and care quality. Nevertheless, since the implementation of this initiative may be challenging, it may be suggested for practitioners to start with the enhancement of their EBP skills and consequently enable their spread across the hospital.
Collaboration in healthcare may be regarded as one of the most effective ways to improve care quality. It results in a better workplace climate and culture and fosters the development of collective expertise and work efficiency. To attain these outcomes, a nurse can help to establish interprofessional collaboration in their hospital through respectful partnering, communication of patient needs, supportive teamwork and communication, and promotion of EBP through team education.
Bosch, B., & Mansell, H. (2015). Interprofessional collaboration in health care: Lessons to be learned from competitive sports. Canadian Pharmacists Journal, 148(4), 176-179.
Davoodvand, S., Abbaszadeh, A., & Ahmadi, F. (2016). Patient advocacy from the clinical nurses’ viewpoint: a qualitative study. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, 9(5), 1-8.
Matheson, C., Robertson, H. D., Elliott, A. M., Iversen, L., & Murchie, P. (2016). The resilience of primary healthcare professionals working in challenging environments: A focus group study. The British Journal of General Practice, 66(648), e507–e515.
Newhouse, R. P., & Spring, B. (2010). Interdisciplinary, evidence-based practice: Moving from silos to synergy. Nursing Outlook, 58(6), 309-317.
Pfaff, K., & Markaki, A. (2017). Compassionate, collaborative care: An integrative review of quality indicators in end-of-life care. BMC Palliative Care, 16(1), 65.