Principles of Interdisciplinary Integration to Avoid Fragmentation at the Point-of-Care

Wednesday, 15 July 2009: 4:05 PM

Tracy Christopherson, RRT
Director, CPM Resource Center, Grand Rapids, MI

Health Care Organizations have been focusing attention on team collaboration and evidence-based practice to improve patient safety and care outcomes. Although the focus is on multidisciplinary teams the providers within the teams know little about each others scope of practice and the patients experience fragmentation of care as a result.   Varied strategies have been implemented to remedy this fragmentation.  Traditionally, these strategies are implemented outside a professional practice framework, and lack the foundation necessary to eliminate fragmentation and advance interdisciplinary integration and practice. Often these strategies provide only short term outcomes that can’t be sustained for long-term success.  There is a significant difference between multidisciplinary teams and interdisciplinary integration.  During this session we will explore the principles of Interdisciplinary Integration. 
Interdisciplinary integration is key to quality care delivery.  Integrated interdisciplinary practice requires integrated processes.  Integrated processes are strengthened by integrating evidence into the documentation of those processes.  When the integration of evidence is combined with an intentionally designed documentation framework the individual and integrated scopes of practice of all providers are supported resulting in quality outcomes for the patient.  The presenter will share the global outcomes achieved across a large international consortium when implementing an intentionally designed documentation framework.
Achieving global, consistent, quality outcomes requires collaboration on a large scale. Providers across North America have come together within Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs) to identify, define and integrate evidence-based practices into health care information systems that will support the individual needs of the practitioner and the integrated needs of the team.  The CLCs provide a forum for collective learning that results in large scale change across a multitude of health care organizations.  This session will focus on how global collaboration and intentionally designed tools are leverage points for large scale change and sustainable quality patient care and outcomes.