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Importance of Multidisciplinary Care

October 29, 2020 - by Parul Saini, Webmedy team

Multidisciplinary care is when professionals from different disciplines work together to deliver comprehensive care that addresses as many patient needs as possible.

Here is in brief what multidisciplinary care is and its benefits.

Multidisciplinary care is an integrated team approach to healthcare. In multidisciplinary care, the development of patient-centered treatment plans and delivery of care becomes a shared responsibility. The evaluation of treatment options and treatment planning is a collaborative process that involves patients and patient's families as well.

Multidisciplinary Care Team

A multidisciplinary care team is a team of healthcare professionals involving nurses, dietitians, primary doctors, and other staff who work together to give high-quality care and coordinated care to patients.

The multidisciplinary team often includes staff from all levels in the treatment pyramid, including aides, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, social workers, anesthesiologists, and attending doctors. These teams are more effective in managing care. Each member of the multidisciplinary care team is responsible for the provision of services or treatment in which they are experts.

A multidisciplinary team includes different health professionals from one or more organizations, working together to deliver high-quality care. Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals are key to ensuring the delivery of evidence-based care. When all of them come together to work, the patient can follow a care plan which keeps everyone on the same page. Most multidisciplinary teams will have a key member assigned to the patient, working as that person's primary contact point to the rest of the team.

Principles of Multidisciplinary Care

  • It is a team approach where care experts, the general practitioner, and related healthcare professionals deal with not only the treatment plans and delivery of care but also the psychosocial aspects of care.
  • Regular communication with team members.
  • Access to a full range of therapeutic options, irrespective of geographical remoteness, rural or urban healthcare service.
  • The patients should be included in their care discussions and management and should receive timely and appropriate information from healthcare professionals.

Benefits of Multidisciplinary Care Teams

  • For Patients

    • Improved outcomes for patients treated by the multidisciplinary care team.
    • Better access to health information.
    • Enhanced patient satisfaction.
    • Improved treatment and quality care.
    • The shorter period from diagnosis to treatment.
    • Likelihood of receiving care according to clinical practice guidelines, involving psychosocial support.
  • For Health professionals

    • Improved care coordination.
    • Better patient outcomes.
    • Streamlined treatment pathways and reduction in duplication of services.
    • More educational opportunities for health experts.

Other Benefits of a Multidisciplinary Care Team

  • Enhanced Team and Patients Coordination

    Although there are greater time commitments involved from members of a multidisciplinary team, the patient receives high-quality care because the services are well-coordinated, and there is a framework of uniformity provided to each person that improves treatment delivery. Even if some members of the multidisciplinary team are away from the patient, communication in a multidisciplinary team makes coordination easier.

  • Patient Access to the Whole Care Team

    Multidisciplinary care enables patients to receive coordinated support and care from a wide range of specialists. Each member contributes his point of view, which can then improve the treatment given by others. This method works to make sure that each patient gets the care he needs.

  • Time-saving and Streamlined Workflow

    A multidisciplinary care team enhances productivity and saves time. Better collaboration leads to reduced communication and care errors. As tasks are assigned clearly to each member, service duplication is reduced.

  • It Enables Patients to set Goals for themselves

    Multidisciplinary care gives patients a chance to set specific daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals for themselves. This enables the team to engage with the goals, keeping themselves, and the patient accountable for the desired result. It also gives a chance for the multidisciplinary care team to involve the family in achieving desired goals, which improves care coordination.

  • Enhanced Patient and Team Satisfaction

    With better health outcomes, patients will have better satisfaction. They have increased access to a multidisciplinary healthcare team that can address all of their requirements. Coordinated team care, especially in-home care, also decreases healthcare costs and time spent in hospitals and healthcare facilities. With coordinated and communicated recommendations, patients spend less time waiting for providers, discussing their needs, and going over the treatment plan. Not only do care teams increase patient satisfaction, but also that of the providers. Due to task delegation and increased communication, team members experience increased job satisfaction. Being able to cooperate with other providers and be a part of the decision-making process enables providers to feel like an essential part of the team. With this increased collaboration, providers also develop stronger understandings of their colleagues' roles and responsibilities.

A multidisciplinary approach to care results in greater patient satisfaction with the treatment, improved financial performance, a decrease in the average duration of hospitalization, and a significant reduction in the number of unplanned hospital readmissions.

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