Traditionally, being a doctor has been a bit like being a tennis player – it’s pretty much a solo sport.
Being part of a great team is something many GPs have experienced rarely if at all.
But the importance of teamwork cannot be understated, both within a clinic and across multiple organisations.
The concept of multidisciplinary care is becoming more fashionable and has many benefits for both doctors and patients.
There may be no “I” in team … but there are four in “multidisciplinary” and that makes a great team.
Benefits of multidisciplinary care
Multidisciplinary care is when health professionals of varying roles and skillsets work together to address the needs of a single patient.
This may occur in one of two ways.
It may take place entirely in one clinic or it may involve utilising the services of multiple healthcare professionals across a number of different organisations.
Members of the team may change during the course of time depending on patients’ needs.
For example, a team may involve any number of the following professionals:
- General Practitioner
- other GPs/colleagues
- private practice nurses
- junior doctors in training
- practice support staff
- social workers
Importance of teamwork
From the perspective of a GP, the biggest and most obvious benefit is that it reduces burnout.
Doctors already carry enormous responsibility when dealing with the health of their patients and if that burden can be diluted or shared, it has to be a good thing.
The stresses of the last two and half years through the pandemic have taken a significant toll on health professionals the world over and knowing there are others in your team, doing some of the heavy lifting, should come as a huge relief.
But there are many other benefits of teamwork and multidisciplinary care including:
Specialised treatment – Complex medical problems invariably demand input from a range of healthcare professionals. Much of this is beyond the expertise of a GP.
Eliminating mistakes – Diagnosing and treating patients without any external views can weigh heavily on some GPs. A second or third set of eyes helps to crystallise diagnoses and reduce the chance of errors being made which all adds up to a better outcome for patients.
Boosting camaraderie – Working alone every day can be a lonely life. Interaction with our peers helps us stay grounded as well as validating our own performance. Celebrating achievements is much more rewarding when you’re part of a team.
Confidence of patients – No matter how much trust patients may have in you, they will always feel more confident with any course of action being taken if it is validated by other health professionals.
Speed of outcome – A team that collaborates and works well together should be able to achieve a better and faster outcome than one who works alone.
Communication and collaboration
Communication and collaboration are the two key planks that underpin the success of every team.
From there, great teams need to follow just a few basic principles to achieve great outcomes for themselves and their patients.
These should be discussed, agreed and defined before deployment.
Picking the right team – Engage the right professionals to cover all bases for the patient’s needs
Clinical governance – Define the guidelines outlining the required standards and procedures, responsibilities, quality assurances and risk management to ensure the highest level of care for your patients.
Respect and trust – Both are two-way streets. Without them, any team is doomed to fail.
Communication method – Choose the right platform to ensure everyone is on the same page at all times.
Join the team at AHA
AHA prioritises a team-first ethos.
We have great support staff and the networks in place to ensure GPs and their teams thrive.
There are some outstanding opportunities for doctors in all phases of their career at our two modern clinics at Seaford Road and Seaford Meadows, in southern Adelaide.
We pride ourselves on a fantastic culture that supports doctors of all ages both professionally and personally.
Our purpose built, state-of-the-art facilities utilise natural light and make coming to work here an absolute joy.
If that sounds attractive to you, we’d love to hear from you. It starts with a simple, confidential conversation.