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Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Healthcare

Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Healthcare


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Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Healthcare

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The Community Health Center has emerged as an increasingly important setting and focus for a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to delivering health care. Political and economic realities promise to magnify the role of this institution.

To prepare:

For this Discussion, review this week’s Required Resources and reflect on the ramifications and potential for collaboration in community health centers.

Post a comprehensive response to the following:

  • Identify what you believe are the two key benefits of collaboration for community health centers.
  • How do you feel health care reform will promote or hinder collaboration and an interdisciplinary approach at community health centers?

Support your arguments with specific citations from this week’s readings.



Dieleman, S., Farris, K., Feeny, D., Johnson, J., Tsuyuki, R., & Brilliant, S. (2004). Primary health care teams: Team members’ perceptions of the collaborative process. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 18(1), 75-78.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article reports the results of an experiment to measure the impact on a variety of providers working on a collaborative health care team in a noninstitutional, community setting.

Fewster-Thuente, L., & Velsor-Friedrich, B. (2008). Interdisciplinary collaboration for healthcare professionals. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 32(1), 40-48.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This article considers a number of factors that can help or hinder the cause of interdisciplinary collaboration, especially those associated with patient outcomes. This is an especially important matter as it has been estimated that nearly 70% of adverse effects suffered by hospital patients are caused by the lack of communication and collaboration between doctors and nurses.

Grumbach, K., & Bodenheimer, T. (2004). Can health care teams improve primary care practice? JAMA, 291(10), 1246-1251.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

The authors identify and discuss five essential characteristics that teams must possess to work together successfully, namely: defined goals, clinical and administrative systems, division of labor, training, and communication. Case studies of a local and a regional primary care practice are used to advance the argument.

Hennessy, C. (2010, January 7). Hospice provides compassionate end-of-life care. CT Post. Retrieved from

When we think of interdisciplinary health care, we generally wouldn’t think of hospice. But, as this article demonstrates, hospice care is a perfect example of the coordinated, compassionate, and efficient model of providing needed health care services.

Huang, B., & Perroud, T. (2003, January 17). Our protocol for a successful interdisciplinary collaboration. Science Career Magazine. Retrieved from

Two physical chemists describe the benefits of collaboration in their lab research. While their work has no direct bearing on health care, their observations and experiences collaborating with others provide useful lessons that can be applied to any endeavor.

Leaders of major national organizations collaborate on approaches to health reform. (2009, March 27). Targeted News Service.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

This press release announces the formation of a task force committed to cooperating to find solutions to difficult issues involved in reforming the nation’s health care system. The intent is to facilitate the process in a nonpolitical way. The committee is composed of leaders representing different industry stakeholders in the process, including doctors, hospitals, insurers, consumers, and public health professionals, among others.

Mitchell, G., Tieman, J., & Shelby-James, T. (2008). Multidisciplinary care planning and teamwork in primary care. Medical Journal of Australia, 188(8), 61-64.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Systematic reviews of research on the effect of a multidisciplinary approach to treating patients with chronic disease confirmed that such an approach improved patient outcomes. Before it can become widespread, this approach will require structural and practical realignment.

Senators urge review of barriers to collaboration. (2010, January 11). AHA News, 46, 1.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

In an effort to expedite and encourage the adoption of collaborative care models for patient-centered health care, nine Democratic U.S. Senators petitioned the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to create guidelines and offer advice to hospitals, doctors, and other interested care providers.

State Government of Victoria Department of Health. (n.d.). Achieving best practice cancer care, A guide for implementing multidisciplinary care. Retrieved from–A-guide-for-implementing-multidisciplinary-care—Mar-2007

This site presents a model for multidisciplinary cancer care in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Taylor, T. (2009). The role of community-based public health programs in ensuring access to care under universal coverage. Issue Brief. American Public Health Association.

“The Role of Community-Based Public Health Programs in Ensuring Access to Care Under Universal Coverage” by Tia Taylor. Copyright October 2010 by AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION. Used by permission of AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION via the Copyright Clearance Center.

This monograph published by the American Public Health Association addresses the importance of community-based public health programs and how the rising tide of health reform may, in fact, jeopardize some essential services, putting already vulnerable populations at greater risk.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010). Recovery Act (ARRA): Community health centers. Retrieved from

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, $2 billion was designated for the creation of Community Health Centers. Some of the key provisions of the program are provided on this site.

Vazirani, S., Hays, R., Shapiro, M., & Cowan, M. (2005). Effect of a multidisciplinary intervention on communication and collaboration among physicians and nurses. American Journal of Critical Care, 14, 71-77. Retrieved from

Perhaps the most compelling argument for interdisciplinary health care is that it has been demonstrated to improve patient outcomes. This article describes a 2-year experiment to measure the effect of a multidisciplinary intervention on health care providers at an acute inpatient medical unit.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Increased demand for community health center services (IDS) grants by state. Retrieved from

This website keeps a constant running count of the effect of new grants for community health services under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The number and value of grants, jobs created, and patients covered is tabulated by state.

Click on your state to look for the grants in your state.

Community Medicine and Community Health Centers

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Recovery Act funding for commmunity health centers. Retrieved from

This page provides links to ARRA Community Health Center grants by state.

Find an example of community centers in your state.

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Family and Community Medicine, Division of Community Medicine. Retrieved from

This is the website for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Explore the site to familiarize yourself with the kinds of services and research being conducted here, as it relates to an interdisciplinary approach to community health.

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