Sunday, November 4, 2007

This presentation is part of : Collaborations in Education and Practice
Historical Influence & Innovations in Transdisciplinary Care
Roberta P. Pawlak, MS, RN, School of Nursing, Edgewood College, Madison, WI, USA
Learning Objective #1: Explore global historical perspectives and evidence for transdisciplinary care.
Learning Objective #2: Examine innovations in application of the transdisciplinary model to collaborative partnership in healthcare practice, education and policy.

The history of team development for the purpose of delivering health care has its roots documented in European influence.  In the 1800s, Indian mission hospitals (under British rule) sent out teams of physicians, nurses and “auxiliaries” to provide health services to remote communities.  Concepts of outreach care to remote communities by mission hospitals in the nineteenth century were later adopted for primary and home care in mid-twentieth century Europe and the US.   Early teams, which placed professionals and para-professionals together without much training, faced problems of conflict and inefficiency. Improvement in team development came when individuals with expertise in organizational development and team-building in industry applied these concepts to health care teams, and influenced team education in professional training.  In the past half-century, private and public funding has supported training on interdisciplinary care team functioning and team science.  Currently, much of the literature on healthcare teams and education for interdisciplinary care is published by European refereed journals, and continue to influence the philosophical and practical application of health care teams in the United States and elsewhere.


Many initiatives for the transdisciplinary team approach to health services is grounded in funding and policy.  Policy, research and clinical care initiatives for interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary team models are supported by a variety of organizations, including but not limited to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB), and the National Institutes of Health.


Applications of team care addresses the expertise disciplines bring to the health service dialogue, and emphasize how collaboration can benefit the individual, cohort and population.  Innovations in transdisciplinary care have the potential of dramatic influences in addressing global priorities in health.