What is an interdisciplinary team?

Health & Medical
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How may an interdisciplinary team lead to improvements in the Healthcare field?

Aug 27th, 2014

Proposed by Drinka (2000), the interdisciplinary health care model based on a multiplicity of methods that will be considered to address a specific issue with a patient. For this reason, professionals from different fields are brought into the team, depending on the case. For example, if a patient consistently gets sick and requires multiple surgeries, a surgery team is put together addressing each of the needs of that patient. A nutritionist may be included to determine a proper pre-surgery diet to strengthen the patient. Also, a social worker may be asked to join in to determine care for dependents. Similarly, a specialist in the illness will speak to the surgeon as to how the disease affects the patient. This way the surgeon in charge will then decide how to proceed.  A nurse would also be in the team deciding the course of dosage that the patient will have, and a pharmaceutical professional may be invited to suggest alternative medication if needed.

Basically, an Interdisciplinary Health Care (IHC) team is a collaborative group of professionals from different health care fields that work together to provide the best specialized service for each patient. They are the quintessential team of experts. Without an IHC team, the entire weight of needs of the patient would fall on the head physician alone. This is not only too much responsibility, but also a dangerous way to provide service, as some details may go amiss. The IHC is known for its capacity of adapting to different patient issues, for its  analytical and problem-solving skills, and by being each in charge of their part to play in the journey to heal a patient.


Read the book: Health Care Teamwork: Interdisciplinary Practice and Teaching (2000) by Theresa Drinka and Phillip Clark for more information on IHC teams.

Aug 27th, 2014

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