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Interprofessional Collaborative Practice

What is important to know about Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (ICP)?

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not explicitly define interprofessional collaborative practice but offers the following statement - “Collaborative practice in healthcare occurs when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds provide comprehensive services by working with patients, their families, careers and communities to deliver the highest quality of care across settings”. (WHO, 2010). This statement is widely used when a definition is requested.

At UIC, we recognize that ICP is a complex phenomenon requiring a broader explanation of its key attributes and outcomes. Collaborative practice is a specific form of teamwork that emerges from and relies on the knowledge and skills of 2 or more team members which may include health and social care professionals, public health professionals, communities, patients and families. Interprofessional collaborative practice is the above with providers from different professions. The traditional hierarchy and silos between health professions has contributed to a lack of collaboration and poor outcomes.  At UIC we promote interprofessional collaborative practice as a critical component of high-quality healthcare.

The goals of interprofessional collaborative practice are achieved when teams achieve a level of high reliability and produce consistent outcomes. High reliability teams (HRT) improve population health, enhance care experiences, address health equity, promote workforce well-being, and reduce costs. High reliability team achieve these outcomes through task-relevant knowledge, the development of a shared mental model and mutual trust and respect, high levels of communication, and adapting to the environment. Such teams are built on relationships and include team members with high task interdependency and shared values. Teams must be provided with adequate resources – time, space, information, and authority - to achieve optimal results.

To view Key Features of Collaborative Practice as a pdf document, please click here.

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