The relationship between various personnel and functions in the nursing environment is essential for successful delivery of healthcare services to the patients. In light of this, interdisciplinary relationships in healthcare are significantly enhanced through effective communication between the various disciplines such as pharmacology, radiology, intensive care unit or patient admissions. In order for these distinct departments of healthcare to fully function, it is essential to enhance the interdisciplinary relationship with other departments.
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Enhancement of communication channels and techniques in healthcare is among the strategies that foster the development of healthy interdisciplinary relationships. Evidently, the presence of collaborative communication between the various departments in a healthcare environment has more impacts on enhancing healthcare quality than the contributions of an individual person. Essentially a collaborative nursing environment entails a situation where healthcare professionals work in harmony and assume complementary duties. Additionally, they cooperate with one another, share the responsibility in decision making, problem solving and execute plans in the administration of patient care (AHRQ, 2008).
Cooperation amongst nurses, physicians, administrators, lab technicians and other professionals in any given health care environment enhances attentiveness towards the others skills and knowledge (AHRQ, 2008). This leads to improvements in problems solving initiatives and decision making processes; as such, the effectiveness of various teams is identified through trust, collaboration and respect among healthcare professionals. Therefore, cooperation between various disciplines in healthcare environments and effective communication can lead to improved outcomes; hence benefit the organization positively.
Communication in healthcare environments focuses on distinct health related issues, factors and transactions that influence the connection between the various disciplines. It is critical that communication between the various disciplines in healthcare takes place in an effective and expedient manner. This is because through effective communication, duties and tasks in the administration of healthcare are executed effectively and on a timely manner since all the relevant information is availed to healthcare professionals (Hansten, 2008). Development of the interdisciplinary relationships can be increasingly impaired in the absence of effective communication and forum within which healthcare professionals can interact effortlessly. In healthcare environments where interdisciplinary relationships are adequately developed, healthcare professionals are able to share defined services. This enhances the development of a unified participation of staff and professionals of various disciplines.
In healthcare institutions where interdisciplinary relationships are significantly developed, various treatment and assessment options are bundled to construct a uniquely designed healthcare strategy that serves patient needs optimally. If departments cannot communicate effectively with each other, it may lead to poor outcomes in the patients individualized care plan, unresolved conflicts among team members have the potential to contribute to overall quality of care within the institution (Hansten & Jackson, 2009).
In an institution that I am familiar with, there are various departments and each department works with one another in order to accomplish two main goals; provide excellent patient care and to complete any assigned task. For instance, the registration department at this facility is responsible for advising patients whose medical health insurance is not networked with the facility on how to obtain authorization in order to receive treatment and services at the cancer center. This is an extensive process that involves comprehensive communication skills. The employees have to communicate with various insurance companies, patients, office assistants, nurses and doctors.
The process requires the registration department to contact the doctor after the patient has had the visit in order to inform the physicians and their teams; which usually consist of the nurse and physician office assistants, about the patients insurance limitation. This information is communicated to the doctors and respective teams via email stating the reasons for the patient being on a managed care initiative hold (MCI) (Hansten, 2008). Furthermore, it provides the doctor the option of treating the patient at the cancer center if deemed medically necessary, or sending the patient back to receive network care. After the doctor makes confirmation on whether the patient will receive the required services, the preceding phase is initiated. If the doctor responds that the patient does not need medical attention at the cancer center, the registration department notifies the patient and informs him/her that he/she may seek treatment with an in-network doctor.
In case if doctor agrees to treat the patient, the registration department forwards the case to the patient care advocacy program (PCAP) case management which consists of nurses who aid in securing and obtaining authorization for the patient. Moving forward, case management communicates directly with the doctor and his/her team to obtain medical information for the patient to continue care and treatment at the facility. At this point, registration department is no longer involved until after authorization is obtained. Once case management receives confirmation that authorization has either been approved or denied, they send an email to doctors and their teams as well as the registration department. The registration department is then involved in informing the patient whether he/she has been approved or denied. Subsequently, they monitor the account and remove the hold to allow the patient to schedule appointments and possible treatments.
This department has to communicate with other departments constantly. They have to communicate with the doctors office, patients and nurses from the case management department. It is essential that the communication remains effective, accurate and precise. This is because the delivery of erroneous information can be detrimental to both staff and patient care. This can result in delayed treatment for patients, especially those who are on chemotherapy treatment. They have a policy that once a patient is on active chemotherapy treatment, they do not hold up the patient for services.
Though healthcare environments are largely uneventful as far as staff and patient functions are concerned, conflicts cannot be avoided and they occur from time to time. In perfect conditions, healthcare environments are fully functional without problems; however, various issues may arise as a consequence of the diverse personnel dynamics and interdisciplinary relationships. For instance, some doctors do not feel that the patient has to be medically treated and therefore will inform the registration department that the patient can return to his/her in-network doctor. The conflict arises, because the patient wants to be seen by the doctor at the facility. In return, the patients blame the registration department because they think it is up to them to accept the patient and complaints about the staff in the registration department to patient representative. At times, the registration department staff receives threats from patients.
Meanwhile, conflict may arise from the managed care insurance company which at times denies the requests for services. In this case, both doctor and patient are furious because the doctor strongly believes the patient should be treated at the facility. In this scenario, the doctor usually gets an appeal and calls the insurance company in order to try and come to a mutually acceptable agreement or arrangement. Individuals from the various departments try to work as a team; hence they are team players who are always respectful and supportive to one another. However, at times it is difficult to develop healthy relationships as a result of various factors. This includes situations where there are significant numbers of external factors that impact the effectiveness of their respective jobs.
Interdisciplinary relationships affect my organization for the most part in a positive way. Each department is aware of its respective roles, responsibilities and overall commitment to the institution. Quality patient care is a priority at the facility; as such, everyone tries their best to improve communication skills within each department (Hansten, 2008). Various departments are intertwined with one another in order to achieve the same positive health outcomes; hence services are patient centered at the facility. The patient is cared for through collaborating with various medical teams such as, surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation doctors who work together on coming up with a defined treatment plan for each patient. It is a team effort in treating the patient. Each doctor understands his/her role to play. The surgeon does not pretend to be the medical oncologist, therapist or chemotherapy doctor. Each professional does the job that is within his/her scope of work.
The delivery of effective patient care is inherently easier with the interconnected team; this is as opposed to dealing with various medical staff that may be unaware of what other medical staff members are doing to treat the patient. The facilitation of such an environment comforts the patient because he/she feels continuity with care and that everyone is on the same page. In some cases, patients attempt to coordinate their visits to healthcare institutions so that they are attended by all the relevant professionals. This aspect is among the rationale that makes patients remain faithful to a designate healthcare facility; primarily because the interdisciplinary relationship in the facility is developed leading to effectively coordinated patient care services.
Effective communication reassures teams to work harmoniously; hence minimizing the occurrence of errors and mistakes. Efficient communication is significant and pertinent in a health care setting because it allows the institution to accomplish goals and contribute to better health outcomes. Furthermore, it is an integral aspect of interdisciplinary relationships that contributes towards decreasing misinterpretation, aggravation and conflicts which may lead to poor patient health outcomes.