Who needs an interprofessional team?
No one can manage the complex needs of people with a long-term health condition such as dementia alone. Complex needs are best addressed by interprofessional teams. By working in partnership with other professionals doctors can save time and improve health and social outcomes for people with dementia and their carers.
Meeting the needs of people with dementia requires networking
What are the aims of an interprofessional collaborative network?
The aims of a collaborative network are to:
- Improve access to care
- Provide timely diagnosis and treatment
- Coordinate interventions
- Capacity building regarding dementia management within the team
- Enable simple and targeted referrals
- Ensure smooth transitions of care
- Reduce clinical errors and adverse outcomes
- Lowering healthcare costs by decreasing inappropriate use of resources, duplicate efforts, and reducing rates of institutionalisation
How can an interprofessional collaborative network be structured?
An interprofessional team for dementia care usually involves either a physician or trained nurse as care coordinators, and in addition social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language therapists and pharmacists. Successful teamwork is characterised by a shared commitment to quality care, strong communication between team members and an appreciation of the contributions of each team member. In a collaborative network a clear definition of responsibilities is essential.