How Can Inter-Proffesional Working Improve the Quality of Health Care

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Using appropriate literature this paper will attempt to examine the ways in which interprofessional working can improve the quality of health care. Concepts of interprofessional working will be looked at. Examples observed or carried out on assessment ward in the mental health practice area will be drawn upon to explore the concepts of interprofessional working and quality. Issues relating to interprofessional working will be identified and will explored based on experience. ‘Quality’ is very difficult to define so this will be attempted using certain criteria. The report ‘High Quality Care for All’ published by Lord Darzi (DOH 2009) equates higher quality care with improvements to patient services i.e reducing waiting times for meetings and health care interventions. Also, by giving power to the general practitioner, the report aims to change the way NHS budgets are run. According to the NMC (2008), Nurses must work together with carers, patients, communities, groups and other organisations while taking into account their needs and strengths. They must promote health and well being while empowering people to make to make choices and decisions to promote their own self-care. Interprofessional working is an essential concept of the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirement for any qualifying nurse to be deemed competent. This essay will focus on an assessment ward, in a mental health unit at a general hospital.

Seeing how important interprofessional working is, key issues affecting interprofessional working will be explored. According to Day (2006), 3 major factors affect interprofessional working. These are systemic, organisation and interactional factors. Systemic factors are factors outside of the organisation that have an impact, be it positive or negative on this organisation. Professional socialisation, professional language, professional tribes and territories, professional codes of conduct and professions/professionalism are all different aspects of this factor. An example of a key issue would be articulating professional identity. If nurse doesn’t know what unique role they play as a nurse, they will be unable to effectively work together with other professionals. Another factor is the organisational factor. This relates to factors of setup and framework within the organisation. For example, lack of staff during a shift can cause a serious problem cause communication breakdown between management and nursing/healthcare assistants. The last factor that Day (2006) pointed out was the interactional factor. Interactional factors relate to a process of collaboration that occurs between two individuals. Lack of communication, lack of willingness to collaborate and professional stereotypes all come under this factor.

Now the factors that can affect interprofessional working have been covered, looking at what works effectively within the chosen admissions ward under the mental health unit is the next step. When looking at those systemic factors it’s apparent that professional language is very important and used through-out the ward among professionals to communicate. For example the nurse asked the student to do go do a UDS screening and some vital obs on patient B. The student nurse is familiar with this professional jargon and carries out what has been asked where as if this was asked of someone on the ward for the first time they would not know what to do. A way to solve this would be to keep professional jargon strictly among professionals and to make communication between a patient and a professional as clear and easy-to-understand as possible. The NMC professional codes of conduct are referred to a lot on the ward when dealing with students and the hospital trust policy is also referred to in an attempt to make all students aware of expectation to pass their respective placements. How does this relate to interprofessional working? Professional codes of conduct always promote good interprofessional working, for...
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