2. Competencies of a medical interdisciplinary team
Medical interdisciplinary team work is a complex process in which different types of staff work together to share expertise, knowledge, and skills to impact on patient care. Despite increasing emphasis on interdisciplinary team work over the past decade, in particular the growth of interdisciplinary education, there is little evidence as to the most effective way of delivering interdisciplinary team work. This difficulty is compounded by the multifactorial nature of team work, which comprises the skill mix, setting of care, service organization, individual relationships and management structures. Effective teams:
- Identify a leader who establishes a clear direction and vision for the team, while listening and providing support and supervision to the team members.
- Incorporate a set of values that clearly provide direction for the team’s service provision; these values should be visible and consistently portrayed.
- Demonstrate a team culture and interdisciplinary atmosphere of trust where contributions are valued and consensus is fostered.
- Ensure appropriate processes and infrastructures are in place to uphold the vision of the service (for example, referral criteria, communications infrastructure).
- Provide quality patient-focused services with documented outcomes; utilizes feedback to improve the quality of care.
- Utilize communication strategies that promote intra-team communication, collaborative decision-making and effective team processes.
- Provide sufficient team staffing to integrate an appropriate mix of skills, competencies, and personalities to meet the needs of patients and enhance smooth functioning.
- Facilitate recruitment of staff who demonstrate interdisciplinary competencies including team functioning, collaborative leadership, communication, and sufficient professional knowledge and experience.
- Promote role interdependence while respecting individual roles and autonomy.
- Facilitate personal development through appropriate training, rewards, recognition, and opportunities for career development.
Source: Human Resources for Health