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Interprofessional collaboration among nurses and physicians: Making a difference in patient outcome

by Jacqueline S. Martin, Wolfgang Ummenhofer, Tanja Manser, Rebecca Spirig
Swiss Medical Weekly ()
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Deficiencies in collaboration and communication between healthcare\nprofessionals have a negative impact on the provision of healthcare and\non patient outcomes. Policymakers and healthcare managers, as well as\nclinicians and practitioners, are aware of this and have a growing\ninterest in improving these relationships. To establish new models of\ncare delivery, it is necessary to determine the interventions that are\nmost effective in furthering interprofessional collaboration. This\narticle provides an overview of the evidence base for interprofessional\ncollaboration involving doctors and nurses and new models of care in\nrelation to patient outcomes.\nTwo authors conducted independent literature searches in PubMed, CINAHL,\nand Cochrane Library and selected fourteen randomised controlled trials\n(RCT) for review. All of the RCTs originated from Western countries, and\nthe majority tested collaborative care management models against usual\ncare within the elderly population. The major components of the\ninterventions involved individual evidence-based treatment plans, care\ncoordination, health status monitoring, coaching in self-management and\npromotion of community-based services. They varied between a few days'\nand three years' duration. Outcome measures incorporated mortality,\nclinical, functional and social outcomes, and utilisation of medical\nservices. Some studies also used patient-reported outcomes.\nWhile the results of the fourteen RCTs included were mixed, all but one\nstudy reported at least one statistically significant improvement in\noutcome following interventions based on interprofessional\ncollaboration. More rigorous research in this field and expansion of\nareas of interprofessional collaboration are needed. Nevertheless, up to\nnow the evidence base of interprofessional collaboration shows promising\nresults in relation to patient outcomes.

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