Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration – Care Example

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

"Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration" is an engrossing example of a paper on care. The need for specialization and the existence of many disciplines in the healthcare sector offers opportunities for inter-professional operations. The scope of nursing whose services are supplementary to other healthcare disciplines, such as the provision of support to surgeons in operation rooms, identify inter-professional operations for nurses and the need for competence for overcoming possible barriers due to diversity across such inter-professional teams. Professional guidelines exist for ensuring effective communication within the teams and empirical literature has been developed on the same.

This paper discusses professional recommendations for interprofessional education and collaboration and an empirical study on preoperative inter-professional team communication. Recommendations on inter-professional communication A report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) identified the significance of errors in patient care outcomes upon which the institution offered recommendations. The report identified diligence in the identification, correction, and reporting of errors as some of the measures towards ensuring patients’ safety. Personnel also resorts to blaming games instead of assuming responsibility for the occurrence of errors. In addition, even though the contemporary care environment involves inter-professional team operations, professional training focus on individual professions and is, therefore, a factor in possible barriers to inter-professional operations.

Some of the report’ s recommendations that identified the role of inter-professional communication are empowerment towards professionals’ responsibility for patients’ safety and promotion of effective team functionality. The first recommendation identifies leadership roles in communicating patient safety issues and the need for an organization to ensure that all professionals undertake this. With effective communication among team members, even from different professions, a culture of collaboration is likely for effective operations (The Institute of Medicine, 1999). Another IOM report focused on potential nursing roles for ensuring safe, quality, and effective care and noted the need for nurses to exercise their full potential, to improve their education and training, to be an active partner with physicians and other health professionals, and to be active in work planning and policy development.

The findings identify the need for empowered nurses who can participate, actively, in inter-professional teams. Based on the findings, the IOM recommended that advanced practice nurses should have the freedom to exercise their full potential and that nurses be accorded opportunities to lead in inter-professional associations.

Implementation of nurse residency programs, the increment of the population of nurses with BSN qualifications to 80 percent of total personnel, the increment of a total number of nurses by 100 percent by the year 2020, and promotion of continuous learning among nurses are other recommendations of the report. In addition, the report recommended the development of nurse leaders and promotion of research on nurse personnel (The Institute of Medicine, n.d. ). The Joint Commission National Patient Safety’ s goals also identify recommendations for effective “ communication and collaboration between physicians and nurses” for better health outcomes (Oermann, 2013, p.

176). These identify the need for effective collaboration between nurses and physicians and the significance of empowered nurses in achieving the collaboration. Garzedi’ s article on inter-professional communication Garzedi, et al. (2009) authored the evidence-based article, ‘ silence, power, and communication in the operation room’ in which they identified the significance of inadequate communication to health outcomes in operation rooms. Nurses assume passive roles in the care set-ups because they perceive that their roles and ability to communicate are restricted.

Silence, to which nurses are compelled shows their lack of authority and spectator roles, and based on the background information, the researchers sought to investigate possible effects of a one to a three-minute briefing for an inter-professional team, prior to operations, on the effectiveness of communication in the operation room. A qualitative research method, that observed communications between nurses and surgeons from the year 2005 to the year 2007, was used in the study. Inadequate communications, which unresolved or unexpressed matters characterized, were identified from more than 700 operations and were analyzed.

Data was collected from direct observation of communication between professional from different healthcare disciplines that engages in the operations. Reported findings are types of silence that dominated the surgical procedures. One of the types is lack of communication between the personnel. Other types of identified silence are quiet responses to prompts and failure to respond to a prompt by another professional. The researchers also noted that while the types of silence may sometimes identify a lack of authority, they could also be a form of communicating intentions, though this could be negative intentions and an indicator of lack of willingness to corporate.

Effects of organizational structure that define power boundaries could also explain the observed silence (Gardezi, et al. , 2009). Review of the article and the recommendations on inter-professional communication Recommendations on inter-professional communication identify the need for empowered nurses whose contributions are appreciated in inter-professional setups and propose academic development, training, and leadership development as some of the strategies for achieving this towards better health outcomes. The authors, appreciating the significance of the professional recommendations and based on existing literature, sought to ascertain the assumption that communication barriers still exist despite the recommendations. Even though the study objective aimed at investigating the effects of the preoperative briefing, the research procedure and results appear to deviate from this and to focus on observed types of silence.

Properties of the applied research method, qualitative research, allow for such a deviation but realigning a study with realized changes is necessary. Qualitative research also has the advantage of developing in-depth information on a subject matter and was, therefore, suitable for investigating the existence and types of silence that exist in inter-professional operations.

In addition, the applied data collection method, observation, together with the researchers’ expertise, coding of collected data, and analysis by a single person, identify the credibility of the study’ s results. The study is therefore significant to nursing research and practice, based on recommendations from IOM and the Joint Commission because it suggests the ineffectiveness of the recommendations. Its results call for the implementation of the recommendations for better health outcomes through effective collaboration in identification, communication, and elimination of medical errors that threaten health outcomes.

In addition, deviation from the study’ s core objective of investigating effects of preoperative communication on the effectiveness of communication in operation rooms also informs the need for further research on the researchers' original objective. The credibility of the study also means its significance as literature on the topic and therefore a basis for further knowledge development (Gardezi, et al. , 2009). Conclusion Inter-professional communication is important to healthcare outcomes in inter-professional team set-ups. Recommendations from IOM and the Joint Commission identify the need to empower nurses to active roles in communication and decision making in inter-professional setups but the study shows that the recommendations have not achieved desired outcomes.

Based on its credibility, the article informs the need for implementation of the recommendations, need for further research, and literature base.


Garzedi, F. et al. (2009). Silence, power, and communication in the operating room. Journal of advanced nursing 65(7), 1390-1399.

Oermann, M. (2013). Teaching in nursing and role of the educator: The complete guide to best practice in teaching, evaluation and curriculum development. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

The Institute of Medicine (1999). To err is human: Building a safer health system. Institute of Medicine. Retrieved from:

The Institute of Medicine. (n.d.). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health; Report recommendations. Institute of Medicine. Retrieved from:

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us