Report Review: Lessons from the Field: Promising InterprofessionalCollaboration Practices

By | 20th February 2016
In this report the authors have written engaging and educational chapters that identify the practices and guidelines of interprofessional collaborationThe report is directed towards an audience who is involved or interested in the health care field, and looking for more information on improving collaboration based on a health care model of the United States.
The report focuses on identifying interprofessional collaboration in practice and the day-to-day activities health care organizations put into the concept of interprofessional collaboration. The authors of this report use a format and writing style that is easy to understand for readers.
The primary goal of the report is to identify the guiding principles and practices that provide practical ways to address and overcome barriers of interprofessional collaboration. The report helps readers to better understand the role interprofessional collaboration has and how it advances the health field. For example, the authors describe how interprofessional collaboration is transitioning from treating people who are sick to keeping people healthyThe report is a combination of both theoretical and practical types of interprofessional collaboration.
The authors have sought out seven organizations and implemented their theories into practice. Each organization provided their own input on the success of interprofessional collaboration so far, and the potential future of interprofessional collaboration as making a difference in the health care field by creating a safer environment for patients and providers, as well as enhancing the quality of care. The report is organized by sections, and each section builds off the previous one, providing more in depth information on six guidelines required to create an environment in which interprofessional collaboration can thrive. These six guidelines are: (1) putting patients first; (2) demonstrate leadership commitment as an organizational priority; (3) create a level playing field enabling team members; (4) cultivate effective team communication; (5) explore the use of organizational structure to hardwire interprofessional practice; (6) and train different disciplines together so they learn how to work together. These guidelines help the most potent set of practices to develop, foster and sustain interprofessional collaboration.
Each chapter of the report further describes each of the main guidelines, and contains its own principles for that guideline, while going into depth more on some more specific principles for that guidelineThe sectionconclude with cases that are relevant to the principle talked about in that chapter. The guiding principles, practices, and case examples, described in this report, provides practical ways to address and overcome many of the historical barriers that fall in interprofessional collaborationEach chapter has practical features that are not always found in textbookssuch as quotes from different health care organizations, as well as an inside view on howeach of these organizations set out to identify interprofessional collaboration in practice.
The report provides substantive references for their claims, studies and statistics. Each organization the report focuses on believes their model if working and making a difference in the health care system. The book takes an ethnographic approach that allowthem to compare and contrast what organizations say they are doing with observations to understand how interprofessional collaboration practices work on the ground, both tactically and explicitly. This allows the authors to identify the promising practices of interprofessional collaboration, and better understand the role interprofessional collaboration has, as it is advanced in the health field.
Overall, authors of this report have compiled an accessible and thorough addition to the area of interprofessional collaboration. It is a practical option for those interested in attaining an introduction to this topic, and I readily recommend it to health care workers interested.
Reviewed by  
Namira Dossa
Concordia University of Edmonton, Canada

Lessons from the Field: Promising Interprofessional Collaboration Practices
CFAR, Inc., Jennifer Tomasik, & Caitlyn Fleming.
White Paper, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
201559 pages