Website spotlight: Communication and collaboration: IDT best practices

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 6, 2012

The goal at all SNFs should be the same: provide the best possible care to each and every resident in the building. Different facilities will have their own methods for achieving that goal, but a number of constants exist, namely the pivotal role played by the interdisciplinary team (IDT) and the need for consistent collaboration among the team's members.

While each team member has his or her own resident care responsibilities, it is important to remember that those responsibilities are tied to the tasks of others, in addition to the PPS reimbursement process. For that reason, IDTs must develop communication policies and procedures that will facilitate honesty and directness, as well as foster respect and teamwork.

Such an undertaking rests with the MDS coordinator, says Holly Sox, RN, BSN, RAC-CT, MDS coordinator at Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina in Lexington.

"I am a sports fan, so sports metaphors come easily to me. I see the MDS coordinator as the quarterback and captain of the interdisciplinary team. While all team members are vital to the function of the team and the assessment process, without a strong leader, the team will fall apart like my favorite college team does in the biggest games," Sox says. "You have to know who's on the field at all times. You have to know what your resources are and be willing to ask for help when you need it."

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