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Interdisciplinary Care Starts With Respect for Colleagues

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, November 19, 2013

Saathoff is a case-in-point: She's a nurse practitioner who has worked with Project IMPACT: Diabetes [PDF], a national research initiative in which nurses, pharmacists, physicians, and diabetes educators work together as part of an interdisciplinary care team to care for people with diabetes.

The nationwide program has cared for more than 2,000 patients who were uninsured, under-insured, homeless and/or living below the poverty line in 25 communities. Interim data released in October shows statistically significant decreases in participants' A1C, LDL cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and BMI.

Continual Attention to Patients
Saathoff is on staff at a Diabetes Care Group, a diabetes-only physician practice based in Jackson, MS, which partnered with pharmacists from the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy for the diabetes project.

She says interdisciplinary care is part of the patient experience from the moment appointments at DCG begin. For instance, she says rather than simply triaging patients and delivering follow-up care at the beginning or end of appointments, nurses are involved with patients right from the start and continually throughout patient visits,

"The setup at Diabetes Care Group is unique in that it is interdisciplinary in every way," Saathoff says. "We have got a team of educators and providers working together to take care of the patient."

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1 comments on "Interdisciplinary Care Starts With Respect for Colleagues"


gs (11/25/2013 at 11:01 AM)
This article is the sad reflection of short sighted interpretation of "interdiciplinary". There are many more relationships other than MD-RN. Many other diciplines require much more education in the sciences and arts. Although patient interaction is not as intense in other diciplines, recognition of the level of education, knowlede, expertise and experience in those diciplines is often overlooked or minimized by such lopsided interpretations of "interdiciplinary". Infuence of many other diciplines get bullied out of lopsided (by number or influence) teams. Until this sad reality is talked about and percetion of the health care 'team" is readjusted, we will not be able to gain true efficencies in healthcare that remain untapped.