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Interprofessional collaboration


MRTs work collaboratively with healthcare colleagues to provide patient and family-centred care


+ Interprofessional collaboration in healthcare

  • The goal of interprofessional collaboration (IPC) between healthcare professionals is to provide high quality patient-centred care to patients – ensuring the appropriate services are delivered at the appropriate time.1

  • IPC is when two or more members of a healthcare team work together to achieve this common goal.3
    • IPC is described as “a process for communication and decision-making that enables the separate and shared knowledge and skills of care providers to synergistically influence the patient care provided”4

  • IPC encourages the active participation of each professional group in a way that maximizes the use of collective knowledge, skills and resources.5
    • Each professional makes a unique contribution to the collaborative effort, contributing from within the limits of her/his scope of practice3 
    • Professional relationships in health care settings are based on mutual trust and respect and result in improved patient care6

+ Benefits of interprofessional collaboration

  • There is high-quality evidence supporting positive outcomes through interprofessional collaboration (IPC) for patients, providers and the healthcare system.7
  • Patients benefit from IPC through a focused approach to care with efficiency throughout the healthcare team.
    • Clinical trials have shown that interprofessional collaboration can enhance the quality of care received by patients in multiple clinical settings8,9

  • MRTs benefit from IPC through:7
    • Enhanced professional satisfaction and lower stress levels9
    • Opportunities to share/learn best practices
    • Opportunities to improve knowledge, skills and practice

  • The healthcare system benefits from IPC through:7
    • Provision of a broader range of services 
    • More effective resource utilization (including lower costs) 
    • Higher levels of innovation in patient care2 
    • Promotion and support of patient and family centred model of care

+ Collaboration in practice

  • The basis for interprofessional collaboration (IPC) is understanding, respecting and enhancing the roles of all professionals within the interprofessional team.
    • Acceptance and recognition of complementary skills and expertise among different professionals is important to the success of an interprofessional team1 
    • Lack of interprofessional understanding has been linked to role confusion and territorial disputes10

  • A focus on communication, cooperation and coordination provide a practical means to achieving effective collaboration in the healthcare team.


  • Effectively establishing and maintaining professional relationships requires a wide range of communication and interpersonal skills to effectively
  • MRTs embrace an open and transparent approach to communication, including:
    • Voicing professional ideas and concerns
    • Listening to the ideas and concerns of other professionals, patients and family members
    • Providing feedback to the interprofessional team, when appropriate, on how to improve communication processes to ensure timely, focused and relevant dialogue

Cooperation and coordination

  • Collaboration requires a structured process that allows providers to move into this model of care while simultaneously providing the flexibility needed to adapt to the needs of their local team, community and the patients served.
  • MRTs understand the collective goals of the interprofessional team.
  • MRTs demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the roles, knowledge, expertise and unique contribution of other members of the health care team to the interprofessional team.
  • MRTs participate effectively in interprofessional team meetings

+ Interprofessional education

  • Interprofessional education has been developed as a means to facilitate understanding and respect between different professionals in the interprofessional team.10
    • Formal opportunities exist for established professionals to engage in interprofessional education and it is increasingly being adopted into the curricula of healthcare diploma and degree programs

  • Interprofessional education has an important role in increasing positive attitudes toward a professional’s own and other professional groups and in minimizing negative professional stereotypes.
    • Studies show that one of the most significant insights gained through the interprofessional education is understanding the roles of different professionals

  • MRTs may find it useful to pursue such opportunities as part of their continuing professional development

+ References

  1. Barrett J, Dort N, White H. Department of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Guiding Facilitation in the Canadian Context. Chapter 9: Collaboration and Scope of Practice. Available at: Accessed November 3, 2014. 
  2. Canadian Medical Association. Putting Patients First: Patient-centred Collaborative Care. A Discussion Paper. July 2007. Available at: Accessed November 3, 2014.  
  3. College of Nurses of Ontario. Interprofessional Collaboration Among Health Colleges and Professions. Submission to the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council. May 2008. Available at: Accessed November 3, 2014.
  4. Way DO, Busing N, Jones L. Implementing strategies: collaboration in primary care – family doctors and nurse practitioners delivering shared care. Toronto, Ont: Ontario College of Family Physicians; 2000. 
  5. Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Position Statement. Inter professional collaboration and practice. November 2009. Available at: Accessed November 3, 2014. 
  6. College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario. Standards of Practice; Practice Standard 6. Available at: Accessed November 3, 2014.
  7. Barrett J, Curran V, Glynn L, Gordon M. Canadian Health Services Research Foundation. CHSRF Synthesis: Interprofessional Collaboration and Quality Primary Healthcare. Available at: Accessed November 3, 2014. 
  8. Hogg W, Lemelin J, Dahrouge S, et al. Randomized controlled trial of Anticipatoryand Preventive multidisciplinary Team Care: For complex patients in a community-based primary care setting. Can Fam Phys 2009;55: 76-85.
  9. Society of Radiographers. Team working in clinical imaging. Joint document with The Royal College of Radiologists. Available at: Accessed November 3, 2014. 
  10. VerhovsekE, Byington R, Deshkulkarni S. Perceptions Of Interprofessional Communication: Impact On Patient Care, Occupational Stress, And Job Satisfaction. The Internet Journal of Radiology 2009;12(2). Available at: Accessed November 3, 2014.




October 9, 2014


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