Understanding Inter-professional Health Care
Interdisciplinary health care has been cited as a possible answer to the crisis faced by the modern day health system. A team of health professionals catering to the needs of the patient promises to combat increasing complexities of diseases as well as the shortage of resources currently faced in health systems across the globe. Outlined in this report is what inter-professional health care is, its benefits, its methods implementation and its barriers to implementation.
The modern day health system is composed of a number of different fields and specialties. Inter-professional health care is a relatively new concept that focuses on a holistic and collaborative approach to treatment that engages multiple disciplines of health. Meredith Menken (senior director for publications and communications at the American Dental Education Association) states that, “health professionals are aware they all must work together to provide the best possible care for a single patient” (Menken, 2011). Evidently the notion of teamwork amongst health professionals is becoming increasingly important for the development of the health system. Collaboration isn’t simply two professionals using their own skills to treat a patient, it involves two professionals using each other’s knowledge to build on their own and as a result, reach a level of knowledge not yet achieved. Prior to the effective implementation of health professional teams, inter-professional education must occur. According to the World Health Organisation’s 2010 Framework for Action on Inter-professional Education and Collaborative Practice, “Inter-professional education is a necessary step in preparing a “collaborative practice-ready” health workforce that is better prepared to respond to local health needs”. The same documents suggests that “inter-professional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes”. Evidently, inter-professional health care is a complex innovation however it is an important step to make in managing the growing need of medical assistance. With ever increasing demands, the most efficient form of care is rapidly becoming a necessity. An array of professional organizations such as WHO have deemed inter-professional health as the most effective response to an increasing complexity and demand of diseases.
Methods used to implement inter-professional healthcare
It is important to understand that for an effective, collaborative health team to occur, the first step must be inter-professional education. As suggested in 2010 WHO “Framework for Action on Inter-professional Education and Collaborative Practice”, educating health professionals in the areas, co-ordination, communication and shared responsibility, is vital. Without first achieving the fundamental foundation, success is limited and conflict more likely. Specifically,...