Interprofessional working : an essential guide for health- by Jane Day

By Jane Day

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45) If these two definitions along with the many others found within the literature are examined, the essential characteristics of a team emerge. Let us now consider what these ‘essential’ features of a team are. A team is a group of people who: ɀ share a common purpose and common goals ɀ have a clear understanding of each other’s roles and abilities ɀ are task oriented and have different, but complementary skills 34 Interprofessional Working ɀ have a shared knowledge, skills and resource base, and collective responsibility for the outcome of their decisions.

The interprofessional environment within which stroke care is offered provides an ideal interprofessional learning opportunity. In some specialist stroke units, monthly interprofessional education symposiums or journal clubs have been established. The specialist stroke teams are also responsible for developing and providing education programmes both within the hospital and in the community setting for members of the general public. Programmes include, for example, learning about stroke and stroke prevention.

Technological developments Although technological developments are not the drivers for interprofessional teamwork, they do have the potential to significantly enhance and influence interprofessional health- and social-care delivery. The use of information technology, for example mobile telephones, e-mail facilities, electronic patient records and video conferencing, will have a major impact on the development of interprofessional collaboration in primary health care. As members of primary health care teams are not usually geographically close to one another, advances in information technology will mean that information can be transferred more easily between members of the health care team.

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