Cochrane Summaries

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Interprofessional collaboration: effects of practice-based interventions on professional practice and healthcare outcomes

Zwarenstein M, Goldman J, Reeves S
Published Online: 
8 July 2009

The extent to which different healthcare professionals work well together can affect the quality of the health care that they provide. If there are problems in how healthcare professionals communicate and interact with each other, then problems in patient care can occur. Interprofessional collaboration (IPC) practice-based interventions are strategies put into place in healthcare settings to improve work interactions and processes between two or more types of healthcare professionals.

In this review, we found five studies that evaluated the effects of practice-based IPC interventions, categorised as interprofessional rounds, interprofessional meetings, and externally facilitated interprofessional audit. Three of these studies found that these interventions led to improvements in patient care, such as drug use, length of hospital stay and total hospital charges. One study showed no impact, and one study showed mixed outcomes.

The studies indicate that practice-based IPC interventions can lead to positive changes in health care, but further studies are needed to have a better understanding of the range of possible interventions and their effectiveness, how they affect interprofessional collaboration and lead to changes in health care, and in what circumstances these interventions may be most useful.