Building a physical and mental health collaborative, starts with communication. By effective I mean communication between collaborative partners in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team based approach to treatment. Team Based Care apply relationship building values and principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan and deliver customer center care that is safe, timely, efficient, and equitable.
Communication Tools and Techniques
Communication tools and techniques may include data systems, case discussions and other interactions which enhance team building. Information should be communicated in a format that is easily understood, that eliminates discipline specific terminology.
Care decisions need to be expressed with clarity and respect, based on team members knowledge and skill set that they bring to the collaborative. Each team member recognize that each have unique expertise, experiences and cultural backgrounds to contribute effectively to the care group. Collaborative members must strive to encourage the ideas and opinions of other team members. Members should agree on conflict resolution strategies.
Prejudices and Misaligned Attitudes
Communication must be the foundation of the collaborative endeavors. Research demonstrates that physical and mental care providers from diverse backgrounds have varying understanding of collaboration. Study’s reveal that practitioners who are accustomed to working in an isolated setting have find it difficult adjusting to collaborative endeavors. Prejudices and misaligned attitudes exist based on the provider’s education, gender and ethnicity. Overcoming difference are achievable with open and respectful dialogue which clearly set the scope of the collaboration with roles and responsibilities.
The best collaboration are those grounded in the understanding that the mind and body are inseparable. Therefore, interventions designed to improve one must should also be viewed with respect to the advantages and disadvantages of the other. For example research show that when mental health providers disregard the physical side effects of prescription drugs, they provide a lower quality of care. Psychiatric meds are associated with weight gain and metabolic syndrome. Ignoring this fact increases the chance of further psychological disorders.
Collaborators as Entrepreneurs
In order for success collaborators must be entrepreneurs. The existence of the collaboration extends beyond the practitioners. Consumer must be at the center of the collaborative. It is imperative communication extend to the consumer and all stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement may include community outreach, the scientific community, media sources, professional organizations and all personnel responsible for care.
Historically, collaboration research has focused on interdisciplinary providers. Primary care physicians (physical) and mental health providers, while overlooking key stakeholders linking the mind and body chain. Exclusion of all physical and mental health providers jeopardize care and limits outcomes. This practice will render evidence to a small discipline of discovery and short change consumers.
Collaborative Search Outside the Box
Consumers suffer under limited collaborations because the examination scope is to narrow. Consumer should have the advantage of collaborative endeavors which search outside the box. The impetus in forming collaborative should be to go beyond norms and explore what is not known or understood.
Consumer trends reveal a demand for collaborations with regards to treatment. Physical and mental health providers can engage consumer and provider more effective care by forming treatment teams. Treatment teams can more effectively provide care by eliminating gaps in the care cycle.
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