At present, a patient-centered approach in medical care has proven its effectiveness. However, it became evident that, for increasing positive patient outcomes, collaboration is required not only between patients and single health care professional but within the health care team that jointly provides the treatment. Medical practice has demonstrated that using the interprofessional collaboration of specialists from different fields, better results can be achieved. In this essay, I will describe how interprofessional collaboration has enhanced patient outcomes in my practice.
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The base of person-centered care is a holistic approach that observes the whole patient’s body system instead of concentrating on separate disorders. It also connects physical health to psychological states, as well as social factors of influence. Therefore, it requires that “multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, caregivers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care (van Dongen, et al., 2016, p. 2). It is approved that multifunctional teams can be more efficient, effective, innovative, and better at risk management compared with purely functional teams” (Morley & Cashey, 2017, p. 208). In my practice, I collaborate with such diverse specialists as family physicians, nurses, physical
therapists, and social workers, and psychologists. The method of our team is based on separate consultations with the families, and then holding the meetings for the exchange of the information and discussing possible joint action plans of the treatment.
As I have observed, a collaborative approach is especially useful while working with marginalized families, such as grandparent-headed families. As Lee et al. (2017) state, “these families have multifaceted needs, including grandchildren’s behavioral and academic challenges and grandparents’ decreased well-being” (p. 550). Our team of specialists can provide them with psychological support, education in the field of health and lifestyle, and primary health care simultaneously.
Thus, interprofessional collaboration is an effective method of family care. It enables multidimensional diagnostics of the problems and provides holistic treatment of the patients. Collaborative treatment is an essential aspect of a patient-centered approach; it requires the interconnection between all team members, including the patients. Moreover, in some cases, such as grandparent-headed families, considering the challenges of its treatment, a multidimensional approach may appear the only way to acquire positive results.
Lee, Y., Quranta, J., & Anderson, E. (2017). Fostering interprofessional collaboration through a family-centered program for grandparent-headed families. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 31(4), 550–552.
Morley, L., & Cashel, A. (2017). Collaboration in Health. Journal of Medical Images and Radiation Sciences 48, 207-216.
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van Dongen, J. J. J., Lenzen, S. A., van Bokhoven, M. A., Daniëls, R., van der Weijden, T., and Beurskens, A. (2016). Interprofessional collaboration regarding patients’ care plans in primary care: A focus group study into influential factors. Family Practice, 17(1), 1-10.