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Literature Review of “Ten principles of good interdisciplinary team work”

Interagency teamwork is the collaboration between multiple agencies on one project. Many terms can describe different agencies working together. Some terms include interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and multi-agency. The need for interagency cooperation is becoming more important for many reasons. Some reasons include the increased specialization of services that require various skills that a single agency cannot provide.

Ten principles of good interdisciplinary collaboration is research by Human Resources for Health (Nancarrow, Booth, Ariss, Smith, & Roots, 2013). The purpose of the research is to find effective ways for interdisciplinary teamwork in the health sector. The study concluded that ten characteristics are necessary for effective interagency teamwork.
  1. A leader for the team: A leader must be chosen to manage and supervise the team to make sure the team is going in the right direction.
  2. Directional Values: Clearly set values should be implanted and regularly reviewed by the team.
  3. Team culture and trust: To help foster consensus and appreciation for contribution.
  4. Appropriate Process and infrastructure: Examples include communication and referral criteria.
  5. Patient-focus services: Documented services and outcomes to improve the quality of service.
  6. Communication strategies: To promote intra-team communication and decision-making.
  7. Staffing mix to meet the needs: A mixture of skills, personality, and competencies to meet the demands of clients.
  8. Facilitate recruitment of staff with interdisciplinary skills: Employees with prior interdisciplinary experience are more likely to be successful in team working and professional advancement.
  9. Promote interdependence: Relying on each other will foster team working, but individual roles should be respected.
  10. Personal development: Professional training, personal growth, rewards, and recognition will help promote healthier team working relationships.
Works Cited
Nancarrow, S.A., Booth, A., Ariss, S. et al. Ten principles of good interdisciplinary team work. Hum Resour Health 11, 19 (2013).
Photo © Municipal Management Association of Northern California

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