Interprofessional Collaboration in Ontario’s Family Health Teams: A Review of the Literature
Keywords:Primary healthcare, Interprofessional relations, Family health team
Background: In Ontario, 200 interprofessional Family Health Teams (FHTs) have been established since 2005 to improve primary healthcare access, patient outcomes, and costs. High levels of interprofessional collaboration are important for team success; however, effective team functioning is difficult to achieve. FHTs are in their infancy, and little is known about the determinants that have influenced the quality of team collaboration or the outcomes that FHTs have achieved. The objective of this article is to examine current knowledge regarding FHT team functioning.
Methods and Findings: A search of the literature resulted in eleven articles for final analysis, which were primarily qualitative in nature. A narrative synthesis of study findings was completed. A number of common challenges to interprofessional collaboration were identified. Nevertheless, patients and providers described improved healthcare access, greater satisfaction, and enhanced quality of healthcare using a FHT approach. Collaboration was fostered by effective leadership, communication, outcome evaluation, and training for both professionals and patients alike.
Conclusions: Ontario FHTs have generated improvements in healthcare access and outcomes. Collaborative team functioning, while present, has not reached its full potential. Supportive public policy, education for patients and providers, and evaluation research is needed to advance FHT functioning.
JRIPE publishes original research in Interprofessional Practice and Education. It allows authors to maintain copyright in exchange for a limited term exclusive license to make the article publicly available; followed by a permanent non-exclusive licence to continue making the article available to users; and the right to make the article available through databases. It asks for 50 percent of any commercial fees payable for usage. Authors may, at any time, archive the work on their own site or that of their institution. Authors must indemnify the journal against damage; obtain any necessary permissions; and attest to the article’s originality and legitimate legal status.
Users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute with the acknowledgement that this aricle was first published by the Journal of Interprofessional Practice and Education, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal.