The Multidisciplinary Team Approach to Healthcare

Multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach provides better care than an individual plan that has in the past, just involved doctor and patient. When properly implemented, this multidisciplinary team approach provides positive measurable outcomes. With a diverse group of healthcare professionals, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, and health educators, social service and mental health providers there is more certainty that all of the needs of the patient will be met. The most important member of the multidisciplinary team is the patient. He or she is at the center of the team. This approach is holistic health care. ??Multidisciplinary teams, as the name implies, are teams of people from different disciplines that come together for a common purpose. The MDT approach is used in a variety of different setting including healthcare, education, mental health and criminal justice. The concept is that it is best to address an issue or problem from all angles. The MDT is typically used in difficult, multifaceted cases and situation where a comprehensive response has the best chance of accomplishing the goals. Simple or uncomplicated cases may not require this approach.??The MDT professionals provide a comprehensive assessment through their individual expertise and in consultation with one another. The team approach promotes coordination and communication and can offer the patient a one stop effort as opposed to many separate evaluations, interpretations and plans. Any differences in opinion or approach can be discussed and resolved as a group, among the professionals and with the patient. This avoids having the patient interpret and decide upon differing viewpoints, alone.

The benefits to the MDT professionals is the opportunity to enhance the professional skills and knowledge of individual team members by providing a forum for learning more about the strategies, resources, and approaches used by various disciplines. It is a built-in consultation component. It also provides the professionals with ongoing support which can be invaluable as they deal with many difficult situations and cases. As a member on an MDT, the professionals work together to develop a plan of action, or a treatment plan and then combine their efforts towards initiating treatment. The patient is involved in every aspect and is encouraged to involve family as well, as this support can improve outcomes long term. ??The team approach involves patient satisfaction, building a community support system, patient follow-up, all in addition to the coordinated medical services. The team can follow a patient from the hospital back to their home and from diagnosis, through treatment. This model of treatment has become increasingly popular with a variety of chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and mental health treatment.

The benefits of a multidisciplinary team for the patient are enormous. This approach assures the patient and family that the healthcare professionals are all talking to one another; everyone knows what everyone else is doing. This method means that the ill patients is not required to be responsible for sharing information that he or she may not fully understand. It takes the burden off of the patient and places it on the healthcare professionals, who are better able to deal with it and use the information correctly.

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