How Nurses Today Communicate and Collaborate With Interdisciplinary Teams and How This Supports Safer and More Effective Patient Outcomes
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Patient care today is more complicated than ever due to an increasingly large aging population that has one or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer's or kidney disease. Because these illnesses are complex, there is a need for specialized care, which has resulted in a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has integrated these collaborative expectations into its “essentials” for baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral education for advanced practice, and they are also included in the educational expectations of other healthcare disciplines. In 2010, the World Health Organization issued a statement of support for interprofessional education—emphasizing that, to strengthen global healthcare, students must learn with, from, and about members of other health professions. In 2016, further revisions by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative established interprofessional collaboration as an overall focus of the four competencies and called for increased emphasis on population health.Working with the school system offered, in turn, new opportunities to collaborate with others, both within and outside the healthcare system. An eight-week program by nursing, physical education, and exercise science faculty for second-grade children that involved undergraduate students, school administrators, nurses, physical education teachers, classroom teachers, and parents expanded to include collaborative partnerships with 10 community organizations that work together to improve child health in an urban community. By involving undergraduate students in our interprofessional project to improve patient health outcomes, we model interprofessional collaboration. Having a common focus enables multiple disciplines to combine their expertise.
By addressing this issue, health care organizations have an opportunity to greatly enhance their clinical outcomes.
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