Evaluating interprofessional collaboration in medical home office staff following an educational and experiential intervention: A cluster design study
The aim of this study was to explore if an educational and experiential intervention supporting interprofessional collaboration in medical home practices would positively impact perceptions of team members on interprofessional collaboration. Education and action supporting interprofessional collaboration (IPC) behaviors was selected for research due to the potential positive impact on the quality of care and resulting safety of patients. An experimental cluster study involving a sample of 50 medical home practices, from a population of 254, received education and support one hour a week for 12 weeks. Team Stepps Primary Care Version was the evidence-based curriculum used in 25 intervention practices. The curriculum was coupled with an opportunity for team members to apply the Team Stepps methods through a quality improvement project specific to the needs of the individual sites. The 25 attention control practices also received 12 hours of contact using the evidence-based curriculum of Energize Our Families and monitoring team members’ application of the tools. At the end of the 12week period the Assessment of Interprofessional Team Collaboration Scale was taken by individual participants within the practices. The respondent tool completion rate was 90%. A statistically significant difference was found comparing total tool scores of the two groups (p=.000). There was not a significant difference in demographics between the intervention and attention control practices finding the majority of respondents to be female and in employment at the practices 3 or less years. Conclusions to be drawn from this research include perceptions of interprofessional collaboration can be positively impacted through education and experience. Nurses in medical home practice roles of staff nurse, advanced practice nurse, or care coordinator can be facilitators of team training as well as benefit from the awareness of the benefits of mutual respect and clear communication. Team members with expanded awareness and positive perception of partnership/shared-decision making, and coordination, may engage in collaborative activities across roles. Given the limitations of size and setting there is a need to replicate the study to ensure that the findings are applicable across diverse settings.