Patient safety is considered one of the principles in medical practice, as it is the foundation of successful patient care. Understanding how to make medical practices safer is challenging, and making care safer can be difficult. The medical industry cannot make significant progress toward reducing errors unless medical practitioners, healthcare leaders, and even patients have a strong commitment to improving patient safety and reducing discrepancies.
A collaborative provider team requires each member to have a respectful attitude for each other while sharing knowledge and responsibility, understanding the functions of each team member, and working together to deal with different client situations. A patient prefers easier communication with a cohesive team, rather than with numerous professionals who don’t know what others are doing to manage the patient.
Collaboration leads to continuous improvement in decision-making and patient care. The opportunities provider collaboration has can improve patient safety — an outcome that healthcare very much needs.
The delivery of healthcare is becoming more interconnected; coordinating care between physicians, pharmacists, nurses, social workers, and other disciplines has become increasingly important. In its simplest form of definition, provider collaboration is the practice of approaching patient care from a team-based perspective.
According to the World Health Organization, 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. It allows health workers to engage any individual whose skills can help achieve local health goals.
When implementing provider collaboration in healthcare, discipline, respect for each other’s perspectives, and learning how to work together are key to working more effectively as a team to help improve patient outcomes and safety.
With a complex array of medical services, provider collaboration is an effective strategy to achieve desired quality outcomes efficiently. Improved provider collaboration is essential to facilitate information flow and the coordination and provision of healthcare.
Patient safety is key in delivering quality medical services in healthcare organizations; it is necessary for providers to put effort into collaborating to establish a system that can reduce the occurrence of unexpected errors, which can harm patients and physicians.
You Must Always Acknowledge the Essential Role of Provider Collaboration in Patient Care to Maintain Patient Safety.
Why is provider collaboration very important in healthcare? Because, when you create a collaborative culture — and implement communication strategies and innovative technology to support that culture — you improve patient care and patient outcomes.
For instance, a patient walks into the emergency room (ER) seeking help with an irregular heartbeat and extreme chest pain. An ER doctor checks the patient, followed by a cardiologist, who orders some tests and waits on the results from the radiologist. Later, the radiologist confirms what both doctors suspected: the patient is having a heart attack.
The process includes multiple doctors and nurses, especially if the patient requires immediate treatment or surgery. A team of nurses may care for the patient in 12-hour shifts, before transferring the patient to a cardiac unit — evidently involving a new team of rotating nurses. Depending on the patient’s health history, more specialists may join their care team.
Every doctor and nurse may have valuable insight and different perspectives about the patient and their required care. But these physicians are hardly in the same room together. At the very least, they share data via electronic health records (EHR), but they often lack a way to communicate directly in real-time.
That poses a risk for patients, but is avoidable.
Communication gaps in medical practice can have terrible consequences — from misdiagnoses, medication errors to missed symptoms. According to Johns Hopkins, medical errors cause 250,000 deaths each year — it’s the third leading cause of death in the United States.
It’s easy to see how accidents can happen, with so many potential care providers managing a patient. EHR notes can help, but clinical communication is crucial. That means having a group conversation, including informing a pharmacist and nurses, as part of provider collaboration.
Another important point is to use online collaboration software to share information in a timely manner regardless of distances.
Studies have shown that provider collaboration in medical practices can help to reduce preventable adverse drug reactions, decrease mortality rates, and optimize medication dosages.
To achieve provider collaboration when in-person meetings are not possible, healthcare communication technology that is secure, such as text messages or video calls, are necessary to maintain patient safety.
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