A multidisciplinary care team is a team of healthcare professionals, including nurses, dietitians, primary care physicians, and administrators, who work together to provide high-quality and coordinated care to patients within their healthcare organization. Multidisciplinary teams are becoming an increasingly popular strategy for long-term patient care, in order to provide high-quality and individualized care to patients fighting chronic and other conditions.
Not only should each member of the team have expertise and professionalism when working with patients, but they should also be able to work cohesively and productively with the other team members. Building your team of providers takes care and precision in your hiring choices, training, and communication. Here, we’ve compiled a list of effective strategies for building a cohesive and efficient multidisciplinary team for your healthcare organization.
Multidisciplinary Team Benefits
✨ Improved patient outcomes
Working with a multidisciplinary team allows you to treat the entire patient and provide comprehensive care. With each physician focused on a different aspect of the patient’s health, providers are more likely to identify areas of need, and subsequently manage those needs in an effective way.
Each member of the team can work with the patient within their specialty area, while also collaborating to provide recommendations that work together to improve patient outcomes. Research has shown that patients who received care from a team of physicians, rather than one individual provider, in a designated stroke unit were more likely to be alive, independent, and living at home within a year of their stroke.
✨ Streamlined workflows and time saved
Multidisciplinary care increases productivity and saves time within your healthcare organization. Trying to provide care across a healthcare system without coordination can lead to communication and care errors, i.e. time wasted. Working in a care team has shown to decrease service duplication, as tasks are communicated clearly and delegated to members to avoid such events.
✨ Improved patient and team satisfaction
With improved health outcomes, patients will have increased satisfaction. They have increased access to a multidisciplinary healthcare team that can address all of their needs. They can rest assured that the whole patient is being treated. Coordinated team care, especially in-home care, also decreases healthcare costs and time spent in hospitals and healthcare facilities from clients. With team coordination and clearly communicated recommendations, patients spend less time waiting for providers, discussing their needs, and going over the treatment plan. Tasks are delegated across the multidisciplinary healthcare team so that patients can spend as little time as possible in the facility, and more time focusing on implementing the treatment plan and improving their health.
Not only do care teams improve patient satisfaction, but also that of the providers. Due to task delegation and increased communication, team members experience increased job satisfaction. Being able to collaborate with other providers and be a part of the decision-making process allows providers to feel like an essential part of the team. With this increased collaboration, providers also develop stronger understandings of their colleagues’ roles and responsibilities.
Steps for Building a Patient-Focused Multidisciplinary Care Team
1. Assess the needs of your patient population
The first step in building an efficient healthcare team is to assess the needs of your patient population so that you can find physicians that can offer individualized care to their patients. The care team members should be experts in their specialty and be able to provide effective and specialized care that meets the needs of your individual patient populations. Physicians on the team should also have a similar care philosophy as one another. To build a team of patient-focused providers, each team member must first want to provide patient-centered care on their own.
The types of providers you hire may also be determined by the healthcare needs of your patient population. Tailoring your multidisciplinary care team to meet your patients’ needs will increase patient outcomes and satisfaction, as well as improve team cohesion and save time training and educating new providers.
2. Communicate with your Multidisciplinary Care Team
Within a large healthcare organization, effective internal communication between providers, supervisors, and administrators can be a complicated process. Different departments, shifts, and schedules can prohibit members from engaging with each other on a day-to-day basis, despite the importance of collaboration within an organization. Especially within healthcare, where the focus of communication strategies is on external communication with clients, internal communication can easily fall through the cracks.
To ensure the highest level of care for your team’s patients, use internal communication strategies to build team coherence. The most important step is to implement clear lines of communication between providers. Research has shown that organizational communication in which dialogue occurs between all members, rather than one-sided communications from a supervisor or administrator, is becoming increasingly common. Create a team chat so that communication can occur throughout the day as needed, instead of all at once at the end of the shift.
Utilizing a software that allows for easy scheduling, billing, and client engagement will also streamline team communication. Most importantly, a cloud-based EHR platform that enables shared access to client records amongst care team providers allows for easy, yet secure, sharing of patient information. This way, each provider has access to the whole picture of a patient’s health and can easily make recommendations without having to constantly consult other providers.
3. Define individual roles and streamline work procedures
In order for a care team to be efficient, it’s important to define each provider’s role in the team. This includes what recommendations they are to make for the patient and how often they communicate with the patient.
When working on a team with multiple providers, it especially is important to coordinate a strategy for engaging with patients. It can be overwhelming to patients if each provider they work with is checking in on them multiple times each week, asking similar questions, and providing similar recommendations. Delegating engagement tasks to providers across the team avoids any overlap in communication with patients, effectively enforces recommendations, and keeps them clear for patients.
At your team meetings, it is also important to delegate tasks to each provider. These tasks may include patient engagement, writing care plans, or scheduling appointments. Assigning projects to individual providers ensures nothing gets done twice, therefore saving time and creating a more efficient team.
Tip: Use Healthie’s Tasks feature to assign tasks to other providers within the platform, and associate tasks with specific patients. Streamline your workflows by internalizing communication to the Healthie platform.
Using Healthie to Build Multidisciplinary Teams
The Healthie platform has a plethora of features to help you build a patient-focused care team, while streamlining your internal communications and workflows within your organization.
- Secure access for each Care Team member: with an organization account, each team member receives their own secure login which they can use to access from the Healthie web platform and mobile app.
- Each provider can set their own availability and appointment types, and create individualized paperwork and intake forms for their patients.
- Ability to create Care Team members for a patient: Assign multiple providers to a patient so they can each have access to patient information and engagement.
- Shared documents library: Access documents, resources, and plans created and uploaded by other providers on your team, and share with clients.
- Implement Care Plans: have Care Team members build treatment protocols, recommendations, and resources within a template that can then be personalized for each client.
- HIPAA-compliant internal group chat: Create a secure group chat within the Healthie messaging feature to communicate with other providers during the workday and beyond.
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