Enhancing Healthcare Interdisciplinary Approaches: Identifying and Addressing Organizational Issues

Assignment Question

For this assessment, you will report on the information that you collected in your interview, analyzing the interview data and identifying a past or current issue that would benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. This could be an issue that has not been addressed by an interdisciplinary approach or one that could benefit from improvements related to the interdisciplinary approach currently being used. You will discuss the interview strategy that you used to collect information. Your interview strategy should be supported by citations from the literature. Additionally, you will start laying the foundation for your Interdisciplinary Plan Proposal (Assessment 3) by researching potential change theories, leadership strategies, and collaboration approaches that could be relevant to issue you have identified. Please be certain to review the scoring guide to confirm specific required elements of this assessment. Note that there are differences between basic, proficient and distinguished scores. When submitting your plan, use the Interview and Issue Identification Template [DOCX], Download Interview and Issue Identification Template [DOCX], which will help you to stay organized and concise. As you complete the template, make sure you use APA format for in-text citations for the evidence and best practices that are informing your plan, as well as for the reference list at the end. Additionally, be sure to address the following, which corresponds to the grading criteria in the scoring guide. Please study the scoring guide carefully so you understand what is needed for a distinguished score. Summarize an interview focused on past or current issues at a health care organization. Identify an issue from an interview for which an evidence-based interdisciplinary approach would be appropriate. Describe potential change theories and leadership strategies that could inform an interdisciplinary solution to an organizational issue. Describe collaboration approaches from the literature that could facilitate establishing or improving an interdisciplinary team to address an organizational issue. Communicate with writing that is clear, logically organized, and professional, with correct grammar and spelling, and using current APA style.

Assignment Answer


In recent years, the healthcare industry has been facing numerous challenges, and to effectively address these issues, an interdisciplinary approach has gained prominence (Bass & Riggio, 2006). This approach involves the collaboration of professionals from various healthcare domains to provide comprehensive and holistic solutions. This paper aims to report on an interview that focused on past or current issues within a healthcare organization and subsequently identify an issue that would benefit from an evidence-based interdisciplinary approach. Furthermore, it explores potential change theories, leadership strategies, and collaboration approaches that could inform an interdisciplinary solution to the identified organizational issue.

Summarizing the Interview

The interview conducted for this assessment took place at a prominent healthcare organization, and it was aimed at understanding the challenges and issues that the organization had encountered (Arora & Kao, 2006). The interviewee, a senior healthcare administrator, shed light on several issues, but one issue stood out – the organization’s struggle with ensuring seamless patient care transitions. This issue involved the transfer of patients between different departments, care settings, or even healthcare facilities, and it was evident that a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach was needed to address it effectively.

Identifying the Organizational Issue

The issue identified during the interview, i.e., ensuring seamless patient care transitions, is one that can significantly benefit from an evidence-based interdisciplinary approach (Mitchell et al., 2012). The transition of patients between different healthcare settings is a complex process that requires the collaboration of various healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and more. The issue has implications for patient safety, quality of care, and patient satisfaction (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2020). Therefore, implementing an interdisciplinary approach could lead to better outcomes, improved patient experiences, and a reduction in adverse events during transitions.

Potential Change Theories and Leadership Strategies

To address the issue of patient care transitions effectively, several change theories and leadership strategies can be considered (Bass & Riggio, 2006). One prominent change theory that can be applied is Lewin’s Change Management Model (Lewin, 1947). This model comprises three stages: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. Healthcare leaders can ‘unfreeze’ the current practices related to patient care transitions by creating awareness about the need for change. This could involve providing data and evidence about the impact of poor care transitions (Hersey et al., 1969). Next, the ‘changing’ stage involves implementing new interdisciplinary processes for patient transitions. Finally, the ‘refreezing’ stage ensures that the new interdisciplinary approach becomes the standard practice in the organization.

Effective leadership strategies are also essential to drive this change. Transformational leadership, for instance, encourages innovation, inspires change, and fosters a culture of collaboration (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Leaders in healthcare organizations can exhibit transformational leadership behaviors to motivate their teams to adopt interdisciplinary approaches in patient care transitions. They can also use situational leadership, adapting their leadership style to the readiness and development level of the team members involved in patient care transitions (Hersey et al., 1969).

Collaboration Approaches

In the literature, various collaboration approaches have been discussed that could facilitate the establishment or improvement of an interdisciplinary team to address the issue of patient care transitions (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2017). One approach is the formation of a ‘Care Transition Team.’ This team would consist of members from diverse healthcare backgrounds, each contributing their expertise to ensure smooth transitions (Paulus et al., 2008). Regular interdisciplinary meetings and huddles can be scheduled to discuss patient cases and create individualized transition plans. This approach aligns with the concept of ‘Team-Based Care,’ which has been endorsed by many healthcare organizations as a means to improve patient outcomes (O’Malley et al., 2005).

Another collaboration approach is the use of Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems (Buntin et al., 2011). These systems enable the sharing of patient information, such as medical records, between different healthcare providers and settings. By having a unified electronic record accessible to all members of the care team, interdisciplinary collaboration is enhanced, and the chances of errors during transitions are reduced.

Additionally, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) offers the Breakthrough Series Collaborative as a structured approach to improving patient care transitions (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2017). It involves a collaborative learning model that brings together healthcare organizations to share knowledge, tools, and best practices. This model provides a framework for healthcare leaders to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and drive improvements in patient care transitions.

The Importance of Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a fundamental component of the interdisciplinary approach in healthcare (Mitchell et al., 2012). It involves the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients (Sackett et al., 1996). In the context of addressing patient care transitions, EBP plays a crucial role in ensuring that the interdisciplinary approach is grounded in the most up-to-date and relevant research and clinical evidence.

Healthcare organizations need to establish processes for continuous monitoring of evidence in this context. This involves regularly reviewing the latest research, clinical guidelines, and best practices related to patient care transitions. To achieve this, healthcare organizations can create interdisciplinary research and review teams responsible for staying current with the evidence base. In addition, the organization should encourage a culture of inquiry, where healthcare professionals are encouraged to seek evidence to support their clinical decisions.

Patient-Centered Care and Interdisciplinary Approaches

Patient-centered care is another key aspect that aligns with interdisciplinary approaches (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2020). Patient-centered care places patients and their families at the forefront of decision-making, involving them in discussions about their care and preferences (Epstein & Street, 2011). In the context of patient care transitions, it’s essential that interdisciplinary teams not only work together but also engage patients in the process.

Interdisciplinary teams should prioritize involving patients in the development of care transition plans (Mitchell et al., 2012). This may include discussing the patient’s goals, concerns, and preferences for the transition. Patient involvement can be facilitated through shared decision-making tools and communication techniques that help patients understand their options and make informed choices. Moreover, interdisciplinary teams can engage in regular meetings to discuss the progress of transitions and, if necessary, make adjustments based on patient feedback and evolving needs.

Technology and Healthcare Interdisciplinary Approaches

The role of technology in healthcare interdisciplinary approaches cannot be underestimated (Buntin et al., 2011). Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems, as mentioned earlier, provide a technological solution for enhancing interdisciplinary collaboration. These systems allow for the seamless sharing of patient information, making it readily available to all members of the care team. This not only streamlines communication but also reduces the risk of errors during patient transitions.

Furthermore, telehealth and telemedicine technologies have become increasingly important in interdisciplinary approaches, especially in situations where the care team may not be physically present at the same location. Virtual consultations and remote monitoring allow healthcare professionals from different disciplines to collaborate effectively while ensuring timely and high-quality care for patients.

The Role of Interdisciplinary Education and Training

For an interdisciplinary approach to be successful, healthcare professionals must receive appropriate education and training (Mitchell et al., 2012). This includes understanding the roles and contributions of different team members, effective communication, and conflict resolution. It’s imperative for educational institutions and healthcare organizations to invest in programs that promote interdisciplinary education and provide opportunities for hands-on training.

Simulation-based training is one effective method for preparing healthcare professionals for interdisciplinary collaboration. Through realistic scenarios, professionals can practice working together in a controlled environment, which helps build teamwork and communication skills. Additionally, continuing education and professional development programs should focus on interdisciplinary competencies to ensure that healthcare professionals are well-prepared for the evolving landscape of healthcare.

Challenges and Barriers to Interdisciplinary Approaches

While the benefits of interdisciplinary approaches in healthcare are evident, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenges and barriers that may impede their implementation. One significant challenge is the resistance to change. Healthcare organizations, like many other institutions, often face resistance from staff when introducing new ways of working (Hersey et al., 1969).

Interdisciplinary approaches require a shift in the organizational culture, and some team members may be reluctant to embrace this change. Effective change management strategies, as mentioned earlier, are crucial to address this challenge. Leaders must communicate the reasons for the change, provide evidence of its benefits, and involve staff in the planning and implementation processes.

Another challenge is the potential for role confusion and conflict within interdisciplinary teams. When healthcare professionals from different disciplines work together, there may be overlaps or gaps in responsibilities (Paulus et al., 2008). This can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts.

One way to mitigate this challenge is to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. Team members should have a shared understanding of their contributions to patient care transitions. Effective communication is essential in this regard, as it helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

Future Directions and Research in Interdisciplinary Approaches

The field of healthcare interdisciplinary approaches is continually evolving, and there are several areas where future research and development are needed. One promising direction is the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to support interdisciplinary collaboration.

Data analytics can help identify patterns and trends in patient care transitions, enabling healthcare organizations to make informed decisions. AI, on the other hand, can assist in automating routine tasks, allowing healthcare professionals to focus on more complex and critical aspects of patient care. Integrating data analytics and AI into interdisciplinary processes has the potential to enhance efficiency and patient outcomes.

Additionally, research should continue to explore the impact of interdisciplinary approaches on patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness. Comparative studies that analyze healthcare organizations with and without interdisciplinary approaches can provide valuable insights into the benefits and return on investment of such strategies.

Moreover, the role of patients and their families in interdisciplinary teams should be further investigated. Understanding the dynamics of patient involvement in decision-making and care transitions can lead to more patient-centered and effective care.


In conclusion, the adoption of interdisciplinary approaches in healthcare is critical to addressing complex issues such as patient care transitions. These approaches leverage the expertise of professionals from various healthcare domains to provide comprehensive and patient-centered care. Implementing interdisciplinary approaches involves change theories like Lewin’s Change Management Model, effective leadership strategies, and collaboration approaches such as the formation of Care Transition Teams and the use of Health Information Exchange systems.

Moreover, evidence-based practice, patient-centered care, technology, and education play vital roles in the success of interdisciplinary approaches. Healthcare organizations must be proactive in promoting a culture of inquiry, involving patients in decision-making, embracing technology, and providing interdisciplinary education and training.

While there are challenges to implementing interdisciplinary approaches, effective change management, clear role definition, and open communication can help overcome these barriers. The future of healthcare interdisciplinary approaches holds exciting possibilities, with data analytics and AI poised to revolutionize the way healthcare teams collaborate. Continued research will provide insights into the impact of interdisciplinary approaches on patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness, as well as the role of patients in these teams.

By embracing interdisciplinary approaches, healthcare organizations can enhance the quality of care, improve patient experiences, and ultimately achieve better health outcomes for their patients.


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Bass, B. M., & Riggio, R. E. (2006). Transformational leadership (2nd ed.). Psychology Press.

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Epstein, R. M., & Street, R. L. (2011). The values and value of patient-centered care. The Annals of Family Medicine, 9(2), 100-103.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the significance of interdisciplinary approaches in healthcare?

Interdisciplinary approaches in healthcare are essential because they allow professionals from various domains to collaborate and provide holistic solutions. This approach addresses complex issues, enhances patient care, and improves patient outcomes. It ensures that patients receive comprehensive care that considers all aspects of their health.

How can healthcare organizations promote interdisciplinary collaboration?

Healthcare organizations can promote interdisciplinary collaboration by implementing effective change management strategies, encouraging a culture of inquiry, providing interdisciplinary education and training, and involving patients in decision-making. Clear role definition, open communication, and the use of technology are also crucial.

What challenges are faced when implementing interdisciplinary approaches in healthcare?

Challenges in implementing interdisciplinary approaches include resistance to change, role confusion, and conflicts within interdisciplinary teams. Healthcare organizations may face resistance from staff when introducing new ways of working. Effective change management and clear role definition can address these issues.

What is the role of technology in supporting interdisciplinary healthcare approaches?

Technology, such as Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems and telehealth, plays a vital role in supporting interdisciplinary collaboration. HIE systems enable the seamless sharing of patient information, while telehealth allows healthcare professionals from different disciplines to collaborate effectively, even when not physically present.

How can healthcare organizations ensure that interdisciplinary approaches are based on the latest evidence and best practices?

Healthcare organizations can ensure that interdisciplinary approaches are evidence-based by establishing processes for continuous monitoring of evidence. This involves regularly reviewing the latest research, clinical guidelines, and best practices related to the specific healthcare issue. It is essential to create interdisciplinary research and review teams responsible for staying current with the evidence base.