An exploratory study on multi-disciplinary teamwork in geriatric discharge planning service

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An exploratory study on multi-disciplinary teamwork in geriatric discharge planning service


Author: Tsoi, Yuen-kan
Title: An exploratory study on multi-disciplinary teamwork in geriatric discharge planning service
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1997
Subject: Geriatric nursing -- China -- Hong Kong
Hospitals -- Admission and discharge
Teams in the workplace
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Studies
Pages: iii, 99 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: In Hong Kong, the service delivery strategy of public hospitals has a sharp change after they were being taken over by Hospital Authority in 1991. The practice of multi-disciplinary teamwork is employed as a cost-effective approach to deal with the complex issues in health care - arising from the multifaceted problems of elderly population, complicated by their corresponding escalating demands for health care services amidst the background of increasing sophistication in medical knowledge, technology and greater specialization - aiming at achieving a comprehensive and quality patient care as well as quality outcomes. To maximize the utilization of hospital service, discharge planning, as a quality improvement program, is widely implemented in general acute hospitals. Following the corporate strategy, the hospitals deliver their patient-centred service through multi-disciplinary teamwork. Yet, to look at the productivity of multi-disciplinary teamwork, Varney (1991), McCelland, Kelly and Buckwalter (1985) considered the structural elements such as shared goals and objectives, clarity of roles and functions, well-defined work procedure; and psychosocial elements such as work relations and participation in decision-making. This dissertation aims at gaining an overview of multi-disciplinary teamwork in discharge planning service and an insight into the issues surrounding multi-disciplinary teamwork with a focus on the experience of team members. The study employs a qualitative methodology with semi-structured in-depth interviews. An interviewing guide with some scaling items is used to rate the respondent's impressions towards multi-disciplinary teamwork. The respondents are come from the six core professionals in Geriatric Discharge Planning Team. Their perceptions on their teamwork condition are looked into. Their similar and different opinions are highlighted and contrast. The findings revealed that the discharge planning team is endowed with some features of a productive team. Its team members have (i) a strong commitment in rendering patient-centred care and quality services, (ii) a shared philosophy and objectives of discharge planning service. They recognize each professional's strengths though they acknowledge the existence of gray areas of practice. Furthermore, multi-disciplinary teamwork is practiced in a trust and mutual respect atmosphere. Open communication is encouraged and treasured. Nevertheless, the team encounter many pressing issues concerning structural, procedural and human interaction aspects, which affect their provision of service to Geriatric patients in discharge planning process and the productivity of multi-disciplinary teamwork. The conclusion is that the strong driving force from these committed team members is based on their shared philosophy, mission in holistic patient care and belief in the quality outcomes of multi-disciplinary teamwork. To maximize the productivity of multi-disciplinary teamwork, the commitment from Hospital Authority and hospital management are crucial in handling those critical issues at policy and service delivery levels. The training in team concept, team functioning and team building will definitely make this corporate strategy a success here in Hong Kong.

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