What Is An Interdisciplinary Team?
An interdisciplinary team is a group of healthcare professionals from various disciplines that work together to help patients with physical, psychological, social, and financial support. The term “multidisciplinary teams” is also used to mean the same thing. Team-Based Care is a newer term and is more frequently used in Primary Care Practices called “Medical Homes,” but the concept is gaining ground in all healthcare settings (See team based care). Patient care is often complex and coordination among professionals is important to provide the best possible treatment. The interdisciplinary team comes together so everyone knows the plan to help meet the patient’s individual needs. The team can involve professionals such as physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, occupational or physical therapists and dietitians. Interdisciplinary teams generally work within a healthcare facility, such as a hospital setting, to coordinate care for a patient.
Why Is an Interdisciplinary Team Important?
• Improves communication among all the healthcare providers
• Brings together expertise from the disciplines involved with the patient
• Helps to manage and organize care for patients
• Works in a holistic way
• Helps with transitioning from hospital to home or another healthcare setting
• Works to maximize quality of life and independence for patients
The following are key elements of team-based care:
• Provides comprehensive health services to individuals, families and/or their communities
• Involves at least two health professionals who work collaboratively with patients, family caregivers and community service providers
• Works on shared goals with patients within and across settings
• Strives to achieve patient-centered care that is safe, effective, timely, efficient and equitable.
This concept of team-based care has recently been integrated into primary care settings across the country. It is also being supported in hospitals, especially for complex, chronically ill patients where transitioning to another facility or home is complicated.