Journal Review: Reduce teamwork barriers to reduce risk of falls
Reduce teamwork barriers to reduce risk of falls
When interprofessional teams work together to meet the needs of home care clients who are at risk of falling, outcomes can be improved. In a study published in the International Journal of Integrated Care, researchers identified issues that prevent clinicians from different disciplines from effectively working together to prevent falls.
The randomized, controlled trial compared the experiences of two teams by conducting focus groups with the participants at six and nine months following team formation. The study revealed that, overall, care providers were positive about their experiences and understood the benefits to the patient, but several barriers to working together were identified:
Defined as the team's ability to work together toward a common goal, capacity was influenced by each team member's understanding of his or her own role and of the responsibilities of other team members. Once team members learned the similarities and differences of each other's roles, acceptance of the other person's contribution increased.
The professional roles referred to by both teams were occupational therapy, physiotherapy, nutrition, medicine, pharmacy, and nursing. Comments from participants referred to not understanding what the other clinician did to not feeling like it was possible to contribute because all of the other clinicians had seen the patient first.
Climate was described as a central theme and is defined as the working environment created by the team. Weekly meetings at which the team members could share their expertise, as well as develop a personal relationship with each other, were identified as important to successful collaboration.
Communication was seen both as a facilitator and barrier to collaboration. Communication included face-to-face contact, e-mails, telephone calls, voicemails, assessments, and a common chart that was left in the client's home. Communication was seen as critical by all team members. Although face-to-face communication was seen as most valuable, team members stated that finding the time to meet in person often left them overwhelmed by their workload.
Collaboration was defined as team members working together toward a common patient goal. Team members agreed that the team approach enabled them to gather different information that led to a better understanding of the patient's needs.
1. Baxter P, Markle-Reid M. An interprofessional team approach to fall prevention for older home care clients 'at risk' of falling: health care providers share their experiences. Int J Integr Care 2009; 9:1-12.When interprofessional teams work together to meet the needs of home care clients who are at risk of falling, outcomes can be improved. In a study published in the International Journal of Integrated Care, researchers identified issues that prevent clinicians from different disciplines from effectively working together to prevent falls.
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