How to Improve Interprofessional Teamwork in a Healthcare Setting?

The healthcare industry has changed a lot in recent years, and it’s increasingly common for clients to have multiple doctors who help them with different health issues. That makes it all the more important for doctors to be able to work in a team. Team-based healthcare can improve the safety and quality of healthcare, and streamline the process, so your patient gets the best possible care in the shortest possible time. 

Good interprofessional teamwork also has advantages for your office, including a streamlining of the financial process. You’ll see less redundancy in your billing, faster processing of inter-office bills, and an ability to call on the wisdom of specialists in other offices. There are several ways you can make a closer connection between your office and other practices work for you. 

What Is Interprofessional Teamwork in Healthcare?

Interprofessional teamwork comes from working with a team from more than one profession. This can be doctors with different specialties, doctors and nurses, or other figures in the healthcare world including physical therapists, social workers, psychologists, or community health workers. This provides the opportunity for a wider view of the problem and the chance for healthcare experts to bounce ideas off each other to develop a solution. 

There are plenty of advantages to closer cooperation between healthcare workers, including improved patient care and outcomes. It always helps to have more than one eye on a problem. You’ll see reduced medical errors, as the odds are better for one professional to catch another’s oversight. You’ll be able to start treatment faster by coordinating information between the two parties, and you’ll reduce inefficiencies and healthcare costs by avoiding redundancies. Having more people to cooperate with and learn from often leads to better staff morale and job satisfaction. 

3 Ways to Improve Teamwork in Healthcare:

1. Establish Mutual Trust and Respect Among Team Members

It’s important to start off on the right foot when working with another office or field of experts. Everyone you bring into a collaboration should be confident in their abilities and know what their field of expertise is, so they can bring their own wisdom to the table without stepping on anyone else’s toes. Role clarity is important, both to avoid any hard feelings between colleagues and to ensure the collaboration is as efficient as possible. 

Every member of the team is bringing something unique to the table, so it’s important to acknowledge individual contributions. It may be helpful to mention what attracted you to the idea of collaborating with someone when recruiting the partnership. It can be as simple as mentioning reading an academic paper by someone, or referring to their role in a key case. One line in an email can go a long way to make someone feel appreciated. 

2. Cooperate and Collaborate With Other Team Members

Ideally, everyone in a collaboration should bring their own skills to the table, but they should also feel like they have a say in the overall goal. These collaborations often work best when there isn’t a “boss” per se. The idea of someone being in charge can lead to a power struggle between different offices, or make some people more hesitant to speak up. Ideally, this should feel like a neutral environment with collective leadership working toward the same goal. 

You want everyone to feel comfortable bringing up their idea, no matter how much of a long shot it may be. You never know when someone will come up with an amazing idea to revolutionize the healthcare and medical revenue cycle – but they might not feel confident enough to speak up about it if there isn’t a general atmosphere of psychological safety. 

3. Be Open to Feedback and Constructive Criticism

No partnership is going to be seamless right out of the gate, so it’s important that any attempt at interprofessional teamwork in a healthcare setting be open to evolution. Adversity can often create the strongest teams, and everyone here has the same goal – to create the best outcome for patients. All members of the team should be comfortable with offering and taking constructive criticism. 

Of course, many people don’t understand the difference between criticism and constructive criticism, and it’s caused many partnerships to end prematurely. It may be a good idea before launching any partnership to go over effective communication skills with your team. You never know when a partnership could evolve into a long-term working relationship with a few kind words and effective sessions. 

Partner for Success

Is your medical practice alone on an island? You may be missing out on a world of opportunities. Interprofessional teamwork can take your practice and turn it into part of a well-oiled patient care network. 

Once you’ve established trust and respect among team members, it’ll be easier to compare ideas and help each other refine your practices. This is where you’ll be able to create a more integrated, more efficient system for improved patient care. 


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