As defined by the IOM (2003), interprofessional teamwork is defined as a collaborative interaction among interprofessional team members to provide quality, individualized care for patients.
Multidisciplinary team working is essential to promoting and maintaining the health of the population whilst improving service effectiveness. Although it is widely accepted that no single discipline can provide complete care for patients with a long-term condition, however, in practice, interprofessional working is not always achieved.
In order to improve the quality of health care, facilitating effective interprofessional teamwork is absolutely important. Interprofessional education(IPE) for primary health care term is one of possible aspects to facilitate the interprofessional teamwork by helping team members better understand the roles and responsibilities for other team members. The definition of interprofessional education is “When students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (WHO, 2010) IPE improves relationships among team members, increases trust and improves attitudes towards other professional groups. When the members clearly understand how every team member can contribute effectively to patient care, they are able to collaborate more effectively and efficiently as a team, as a result, ensure the best possible results for the patients and populations they serve.
In short, the main facilitators of multidisciplinary are ‘individuals can play a key role’, ‘team roles should be clearly explained with team members’ and ‘need to develop a common sense of purpose and work together to achieve it’.
On the other hand, there are some factors which inhibit the development of multidisciplinary team working. Primary care teams are not effective because