Elevating healthcare through seamless communication and collaboration

Collaborative teamwork improves clinical outcomes, provides a supportive environment, and gives staff more professional satisfaction. Effective communication between healthcare professionals means all staff thoroughly understand a patient’s condition and treatment. Patient rounds, safety huddles, and interdisciplinary care plans are implemented to increase collaboration. These methods enhance communication between health professionals, and there is a shared commitment to meet treatment goals and improve patient outcomes. With the importance of collaboration being recognized, interprofessional education has been introduced in many healthcare schools. Nurse leaders can utilize their skills to manage interprofessional teams and achieve organizational goals. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stressed how vital interprofessional collaboration is to the future of healthcare. 

Experienced nurses can advance their careers by studying for the online doctor of nursing practice at Walsh University. This program teaches the skills needed to become an effective nurse leader. Graduates have the qualities of a nurse leader and can occupy advanced nursing positions where they ensure their teams provide quality patient care.

The World Health Organization (WHO)

According to WHO in 2010, “Collaborative practice happens when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, caregivers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings.”

Evidence shows that collaborative practice strengthens health systems and improves health outcomes. Interprofessional healthcare teams use their members’ skills, share case management, and deliver enhanced services to patients and the community. Interprofessional collaboration can be used to improve healthcare systems. When health staff share their knowledge and expertise, it results in those staff having a better understanding of the overall clinical situation. When a team of healthcare staff works collaboratively, they can provide a comprehensive service across a wide range of healthcare.

There are many challenges in healthcare today, such as epidemics and an aging population. Policymakers have recognized that a collaborative workforce is the best way to meet these health challenges. Evidence has shown that collaborative practice enhances health services and improves health systems and outcomes. Patients have reported more satisfaction, better acceptance of care, and improved health outcomes when treated by a collaborative team. Research has shown that collaborative care can increase access to and organization of health services, health outcomes for patients with chronic disease, use of clinical resources, health outcomes for people with chronic disease, and patient safety.

Patient rounds

Interprofessional team rounds with patients and families are for sharing patient care information and developing a collaborative care plan. These bedside rounds provide coordinated care among healthcare professionals. All members of the interprofessional team are invited to attend the rounds. The team discusses the patient’s health, treatment goals, and daily care. The patient and family can ask questions, and everyone can participate in decision-making. There is collaboration among the team and with the patient and family. Evidence shows that interprofessional rounds improve patient care and satisfaction among providers.

Safety huddles

Interprofessional safety huddles take place at the start of each shift and are up to 10 minutes long. Staff concentrates on sharing announcements and information, quality and safety concerns from the day before, updating quality and safety procedures, prompting input about other quality and safety matters, and discussing quality and safety concerns on the day’s schedule. The huddle occurs simultaneously every day and is led by the senior nurse. Having a nurse leader can encourage team members to prioritize quality and safety. The huddles are structured to allow everyone to speak, and a checklist is used to organize the meeting. Research has found that safety huddles increase hand hygiene compliance and patient satisfaction.

Interdisciplinary care plans

Previously, healthcare professionals would have their own patient care plans, making it more difficult for other professionals to see them. Having separate care plans meant staff were less likely to have an overview of the patient’s condition. When patient records were made electronic, collaborative care plans were allowed. Interdisciplinary healthcare teams comprise staff from various disciplines who collaborate to provide clinical care to patients. Numerous specialists deliver their own treatments to patients. All team members have input into the care plan, and there is a focus on the patient’s condition, treatment, and improving outcomes.

They work alongside each other and have shared treatment goals. An interdisciplinary team in an emergency department could consist of a physician, nursing assistants, nurses, a triage nurse, a charge nurse, administrative staff, and allied health professionals such as social workers, physiotherapists, and radiographers. Interdisciplinary care plans provide a way for ongoing communication between different staff so that everyone is aware of all aspects of the patient’s treatment and decisions are made considering the whole clinical situation. Devising a coordinated care plan requires the effective use of different team members’ skills and respect and trust among the team. The care plan outlines the patient’s symptoms and needs, the staff assigned to address these needs, the interventions required, and related goals.

Interdisciplinary rounds are an essential part of care planning. Interdisciplinary care plans are comprehensive plans created by professionals from various disciplines and specialties concentrating on a patient’s health, ways to improve outcomes, and treatment goals. There is input from various staff, which is considered against the advantages and disadvantages for the patient. This kind of collaboration among healthcare staff with interdisciplinary care plans has been shown to shorten the length of stay, decrease conditions acquired in the hospital, reduce cost, and lessen mortality rates. 

Meetings should be held daily to work on interdisciplinary care plans, and a member of staff from each discipline should attend to give advice and information to other staff. It can be beneficial to have a leader oversee these meetings. Leaders can plan meetings by choosing discussion subjects, encouraging everyone to participate, and discovering more about the patient. It is essential to decide the meeting aims, patient outcomes, and goals and to receive feedback from the team.

Working in teams with interdisciplinary care plans can lessen the likelihood of mistakes. Having a complete record of the patient’s treatment allows healthcare professionals to view diagnoses and prescriptions from other professionals and have an overview of the patient’s condition. When the team has access to the treatment plan, it can make treatment faster. Working collaboratively can result in fewer examinations and tests. Hospital discharge and surgeries can take place sooner.


Collaborative care is a healthcare model that improves patient outcomes through effective teamwork. The process involves multiple stakeholders working together to identify gaps in performance, share information, and find solutions for improving care. In the past, doctors have typically been the decision-makers on treatment. With collaborative care, other team members, such as nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, and more, have been empowered to make recommendations about patient care.

With a team of practitioners working together, there is more opportunity for effective communication. All team members are more likely to understand symptoms and the patient’s needs. They can share ideas about a patient’s treatment and maintain continuity of care by working together. Improved communication contributes to correct diagnoses and effective treatment. This makes it less likely that patients will have to be readmitted. Instead of having different professionals take turns treating them, patients receive treatment from the whole team as soon as their clinical care begins.

Nurses are trained to understand other healthcare professionals’ work, which helps in collaborating with others. Respect for the roles and skills of other staff can result in the team member with the most expertise carrying out particular clinical care. When there are relevant practitioners and professionals within a team, this can result in better coordination of work. Regular meetings and shared processes mean professionals understand each other’s roles and responsibilities.

Teamwork is essential for effective communication and achieving positive patient outcomes. Healthcare staff from different disciplines can work in a team to gain important insights into a patient’s condition. They are likely to notice symptoms that relate to their specialty. By working together, they can provide all-around treatment that raises the standard of healthcare. Teams that include staff with various roles and specialties can remove hierarchy and allow everyone to feel integral to the team’s efforts. A recognized role can produce higher performance levels and greater job satisfaction.

Team-based healthcare aims to provide optimal patient care by collaborating as a team. When working collaboratively, staff respond to conflict with the view that everyone is doing their best and keeping an open mind. Staff do not jump to conclusions but ask questions to clarify the situation. This avoids misunderstandings and allows for positive relationships. Research has shown that team-based care can improve the safety and quality of healthcare. Acknowledging the particular skills of each staff member and combining these within the team can raise the standards of overall service delivery. The individual understands not only their role but also how that fits into the team.

Interprofessional education

Interprofessional education can train healthcare staff to collaborate as a team and work across disciplines. Health profession schools provide education in delivering patient-centered care as members of an interdisciplinary team. Historically, students have learned about their profession but have not had much contact with students from other disciplines. It meant new clinicians had little experience communicating with colleagues from other disciplines. Learning about other disciplines can make students more likely to ask for help or information from an interprofessional colleague. They develop more effective problem-solving skills because they have worked with others with different views. Their patient care is safer because they have access to more information. They can also have improved communication skills, which are useful in high-risk situations.

Many schools have introduced programs to provide collaborative experiences. These programs can involve students from different professions attending the same courses, conducting simulation exercises, collaborating on projects, and working together in interprofessional clinics. There is a greater emphasis on professions mixing to widen knowledge and improve patient care. Complexity in healthcare requires collaboration to address problem-solving, enhance patient care, and improve quality. No discipline or profession has all the knowledge or skills, so working together improves patient care and our performance.

Nurse leaders

Nursing is a challenging role, and nurses become very skilled in multiple ways. They develop leadership skills through experience and dealing with the demands of their job. Nurse leadership influences and motivates healthcare staff as they work together to achieve common goals. Nurse leaders are role models for healthcare staff and communicate expectations and goals to their team members. They make sure that each team member knows their role and the roles of other team members. Nurse leaders oversee patient care and manage healthcare staff. They use their leadership skills to improve patient outcomes.

Nurse leaders manage interprofessional teams. They communicate expectations to their team and motivate them to achieve planned goals. They have the clinical knowledge and skills to manage staff from all disciplines and ensure effective collaboration. They build relationships with other healthcare teams and departments and use critical thinking skills to make decisions that affect the organization. Nurse leaders positively impact workplace culture by making staff feel valued within the team. They want to see positive patient outcomes, and the best way to achieve this is to effectively manage an interdisciplinary team.


The healthcare industry faces many challenges, and collaborative teamwork is the best solution. Interprofessional teams appear to be stronger and more effective than past working methods. Healthcare schools have recognized this and introduced interprofessional collaboration to their programs. Enhanced communication and collaboration result in improved patient care and better patient outcomes. The introduction of electronic medical records made collaborative care plans possible, contributing to healthcare professionals working together to provide optimum patient care and achieve organizational goals. Nurse leaders are essential to the rise of collaborative working and have the skills required for team leadership. They create positive workplace cultures and enhance interprofessional cooperation, resulting in quality patient care.

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