A multidisciplinary team (MDT) is a group of professionals from different disciplines collaborating in the delivery of comprehensive patient care to optimise health outcomes for their client. Collaboration is key in the delivery of effective allied health services, as many clients have complex needs that can best be met through engaging a range of professionals with diverse knowledge and skillsets. Because of these beneficial client outcomes, most allied health professionals will inevitably encounter opportunities for collaboration throughout their career, which may include referring their client out to external specialists or other complementary providers. However, beyond the obvious benefits to clients, an MDT model also offers many benefits to the allied health professionals working in the team, especially if you all work together under the same roof!
The obvious benefit to working within an MDT is the opportunity for collaboration and shared expertise. Accessing critical information outside your own discipline can be time consuming and inefficient, delaying diagnosis, the development of therapy plans or the scripting of life-changing supports. Being able to collaborate internally with clinicians you know and trust by sharing information in real time, liaising in person, and even conducting consultations as a team can improve service delivery and improve client outcomes.
Having trained and worked in your own discipline leads, understandably, to assessing client needs and recommending outcomes through the lens of your own expertise. However, the complexity of an individual client’s needs often requires a multitude of professional opinions to achieve the most appropriate outcome. Each member of an MDT brings unique knowledge, experience, and skillsets to patient care, and this diversity of perspectives from an inter-disciplinary team of allied health professionals working on a common goal helps to foster innovation.
Continuity of care
Continuity of care presents clear benefits to the client; however, continuity of care also provides often unrecognised benefits to the members of a multi-disciplinary team. At SSRG, it is highly beneficial for our clinicians to be able to refer internally. There is the potential to reduce wait times, which means therapy programs are not interrupted by assessments from other service providers. Collaborating in house also facilitates the sharing of clinical information that avoids the client having to ‘retell their story’ to a multitude of service professionals. Everyone is on the same page.
We really appreciate the value of collaboration and believe the benefits extend beyond the clinical factors outlined above. Mobile allied health service delivery can often be isolating for clinicians, which is why we have invested in a robust clinic space that enables our entire clinical team to work side-by-side when not conducting appointments. Being able to regularly interact with your peers provides ongoing opportunities for support, improves morale and is a great way to make new friends!
If you’re an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or speech pathologist looking to make a difference within a collaborative multi-disciplinary team, head to our careers page to see what opportunities are currently available.