I believes that following the principles below will facilitate collaboration among professions and professionals.
• Client-centred care — Interprofessional client-centred care requires collaboration among clients,2 nurses3 and other health professionals who work together at the individual, organizational and health-care system levels.4 Health professionals work together to optimize the health and wellness of clients and involve the client in decision-making.5 Clients are actively engaged in the prevention, promotion and management of their health.6
• Evidence-informed decision-making for quality care — Evidence-informed decision-making through the use of best practice guidelines, protocols and resources will support interprofessional collaboration. Health professionals work together to identify and assess research evidence as a basis for identifying treatment and management of health problems. Health outcomes are continuously evaluated to track the effectiveness and appropriateness of services.7
• Access — Teams of health-care professionals working in collaboration will ensure that patients can access the most appropriate health-care provider at the right time and in the right place. Supporting continuity of care and continuity of care provider is crucial to ensuring high-quality, client-centered interprofessional collaborative care.8
• Epidemiology — Using assessments of the demographics and health status of clients will ensure the relevance of health services, including the identification of appropriate health professions. Trends in the health of the population are tracked to assess the impact of the services offered. • Ethics — Each profession brings its own set of competencies — the results of education, training and experience — to collaborative health services. Health-care professionals working in interprofessional collaborative teams learn from each other in ways that can enhance the effectiveness of their collaborative efforts.
Nurses collaborate with other health professionals to develop a moral community12 and to maximize heath benefits to clients, recognizing and respecting the knowledge, skills and perspectives of all.13 Shared decision-making, creativity and innovation allow health-care professionals to learn from each other and enhance the effectiveness of their collaborative efforts.
• Communication — Active listening and effective communication skills facilitate both information sharing and decision-making. To support and sustain interprofessional collaboration, CNA believes that the following structural elements15 must also be present:
• planning, recruitment, workplace and interprofessional education to support human resources; • long-term funding allocations that support the necessary infrastructure and information technology requirements of interprofessional collaboration;
• liability insurance framework for interprofessional teams that includes liability insurance for health-care professionals that is independent of the employer’s liability insurance;
• regulatory framework that enables all regulated health professionals to use their knowledge, skills and experience to practice to their full scope and recognizes the decision-making processes and roles within interprofessional collaboration;
• standards that guarantee both interoperability and access by appropriate professionals to electronic health records;
• governance and management structures that promote systems that foster interprofessional collaboration and strengthen a not-for-profit, publicly funded health-care system; and
• planning and evaluation frameworks and assessment tools to measure the performance of interprofessional collaborative practices that are supported by ongoing research and surveillance.