Interprofessional Collaboration Example Essay

Interprofessional Collaboration Example Essay

Interprofessional Collaboration Example Essay

Interprofessional collaboration and education is important in health care, and has the goals of increasing positive patient outcomes and satisfaction, improving the health of the population, reducing health care costs, and increasing job satisfaction of health care professionals (Ash & Miller, 2016; Vega & Bernard, 2016). Interprofessional collaboration is a process in which all members of the health care team contribute and integrate their strengths, knowledge, and experiences into the partnership, with the shared goal of improving health outcomes (Ash & Miller, 2016).


Interprofessional teams can include members of various health care disciplines, such as physicians, nurses, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), respiratory therapists, social workers, physical/occupational therapists, and case managers, to name a few. Those who are needed to coordinate and optimize the care of patient and improve system outcomes should be included in the team, as each profession can bring strengths to the process. While physicians are traditionally seen as the leader of the health care team, APRNs can assume the role of team leader in interprofessional collaboration, as they are equipped with the knowledge and training in health and science, “but also because of their comprehension of organizational and systems improvements, outcome evaluation processes, health care policy, and leadership (Ashe & Miller, 2016, p. 127). Team members should act with respect and trust, openness, and shared responsibility and decision-making when working toward the same goal (Ash & Miller, 2016).

While the idea of interprofessional collaboration has been proven to be successful, the creation of such teams is still not as common as it should be (Naylor, 2011). There are barriers to establishing collaboration, such as the culture of health care, reimbursement, and a lack of knowledge of the scope and role of each contributing profession (Ash & Miller, 2016; Vega & Bernard, 2016). The traditional culture of health care is a hierarchy of professions that work independently, thereby dampening coordination of care (Vega & Bernard, 2016). Changing culture can be difficult, but proper education and training of all health care professionals in creating collaborative partnerships can help.

There are several ways to encourage and promote interprofessional collaboration. One major driver in establishing partnerships is effective communication, which improves teamwork, and thus, reduces errors and improves patient outcomes (Vega & Bernard, 2016). One technique of effective communication commonly used in the health care setting is SBAR, or Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2016). It is a technique that offers a concise but complete communication about a problem to foster timely intervention. Another way to improve interprofessional collaboration is to incorporate leadership models during interprofessional education, such as the Lean Model, into interprofessional education. The philosophy of the Lean method is to reduce waste (wait times, etc.) in order to provide the most value for patients (Lawal et al., 2014). The Lean Model is one of continuous change and improvement that empowers and holds responsible every team member to contribute in problem-solving and decision-making (Wojciechowski, Pearsall, Murphy, & French, 2016). While this model is typically utilized in the manufacturing industry, it holds promise for use in the health care sector in establishing interprofessional collaboration and education (Wojciechowski, Pearsall, Murphy, & French, 2016).


Ash, L. & Miller, C. (2016). Interprofessional collaboration for improving patient and population health. In S. M. DeNisco & A. M. Barker, Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession (3rd ed., pp. 123-151). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2016). SBAR toolkit. Retrieved from

Lawal, A. K., Rotter, T., Kinsman, L., Sari, N., Harrison, L., Jeffery, C., … Flynn, R. (2014). Lean management in health care: definition, concepts, methodology and effects reported (systematic review protocol). Systematic Reviews3, 103.

Naylor, M. D. (2011). Viewpoint: Interprofessional collaboration and the future of health care. Retrieved from

Vega, C. P. & Bernard, V. (2016). Interprofessional collaboration to improve health care: An introduction. Retrieved from

Wojciechowski, E., Pearsall, T., Murphy, P., & French, E. (2016). A case review: Integrating Lewin’s theory with Lean’s system approach for change. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(2). Retrieved from 

Interprofessional Collaboration Example Essay