Interprofessional Care and Interprofessional Practice

When healthcare providers practice interprofessional care, they work cohesively together to put the patient first, as well as work with patients and their families, so the patient will have the best treatment possible.

If healthcare providers can agree to come together for a patient’s treatment, the patient will not have the added stress of deciphering through differing opinions on which course of treatment is the best for them. Also, avoiding inconsistencies between healthcare providers’ treatment options could help the patient avoid conflicting treatments, which may put the patient’s safety at risk. As a result, the treatment that is most efficient can be given without delay. The patient will trust the healthcare providers involved with their care if those healthcare providers’ knowledge seems consistent amongst them, and this will build respect for them as well. As healthcare providers work collectively, they also will have better understanding of the benefit of each other’s expertise, and therefore how to refer patients to the appropriate healthcare provider to ensure the best care.

Furthermore, when healthcare providers include patients in their own care, patients will feel as if they are in charge of their own health. This will make patients feel less overwhelmed as they understand their treatment, which can also build trust and respect for their healthcare provider, and may help them comply with the treatment regime.

There are many ways healthcare providers can work together and with patients and their families to perform interprofessional practice. When a patient is discharged from a hospital and comes to a pharmacy, the pharmacy staff may have to call the hospital to verify, change or adjust medications and dosages. This could also have to be done with new prescriptions received from family physicians or specialists, if there seems to be any unclarity or concern over the medication prescribed. Also, a pharmacist can work with a patient to perform a medscheck, and during this a pharmacist may refer the services of other healthcare providers and services in the community, such as a meal delivery service. During a medscheck, a pharmacist may have to work with the patient’s doctor to communicate any concerns or advice on current medications. Interprofessional practice also refers to working with colleagues within the same health profession. A pharmacy technician can aid a pharmacist with tasks, such as gathering information from a patient’s phone call to the pharmacy, or inquiry as to what over the counter product to take, before approaching the pharmacist to save a busy pharmacist time. Everyone working in a pharmacy can help each other, and learn from each other with a team approach. Overall, if all health care providers involved with a patient’s care collaborate and perform interprofessional practice, they can each use their knowledge and work together towards the common goal of putting the patient’s best interest first.

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