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

  • Martin J
  • Ummenhofer W
  • Manser T
 et al. 
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Deficiencies in collaboration and communication between healthcare professionals have a negative impact on the provision of healthcare and on patient outcomes. Policymaker s and healthcare managers, as well as clinicians and practitioners, are aware of this and have a growing interest in improving these relati onships. To establish new models of care delivery it is necessary to determine the interventions that ar e most effective in furthering interprofessional collaboration. This article provides an overview of th e evidence base for interprofessional coll aboration involving doctors and nurses and new models of care in re lation to patient outcomes. Two authors conducted independent literature searches in PubMed, CINAHL, and Cochrane Library and selected fourteen randomised-controlled trials (RCT) for review. All of the RCTs originated from wester n countries, and the majority tested collaborative care management mode ls against usual care within the elderl y population. The major components of the interventions involved individual evidence-based treatment plan s, care coordination, health st atus monitoring, coaching in self-management and promotion of community-based services. They varied between a few days’ and three years’ duration. Outcome measures incorporated mortality, clinical, functional an d social outcomes, and utilisation of medical services. Some studies also used patient-reported outcomes. While the results of the 14 RCTs included were mixed, all but one study reported at least one statistically significant improvement in outcome following interven tions based on interprofessional collaboratio n. More rigorous research in this field and expansion of areas of interpro fessional collaboration are needed. Nevertheless, up to now the evidence base of interprofessional collaboration shows promising results in relation to patient outcomes.

Author-supplied keywords

  • care management
  • cooperative behaviour
  • interdisciplinary health team
  • interdisciplinary teamwork
  • interprofessional collaboration
  • new models of care
  • patient outcomes
  • physician-nurse
  • relationship

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  • Js Martin

  • W Ummenhofer

  • T Manser

  • R Spirig

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