The Impact of the Size and Composition of Interdisciplinary Healthcare Teams on Patient Satisfaction
Managing patient expectations and establishing scope of care in the emergency department (ED) is critical for optimizing patient satisfaction. Vital to expectation setting is delineating roles of healthcare team members. Medical student participation has been shown to improve satisfaction, suggesting benefit to including learners. At Duke University, students participate in an Inter-Professional Experience (IPE) clinic to provide comprehensive care to low acuity ED patients.
The aim of this study is to improve patient understanding of the function and scope of the IPE clinic as well as how multispecialty teams impact the patient’s perception of their care.
A standardized script was introduced for providers to use when initiating patient encounters. The script highlights scope of care provided in the IPE clinic as well as the multidisciplinary composition of the IPE team. Impact was assessed through a pre-post analysis of patient surveys. Patients responded to the following questions utilizing a 5-point Likert scale at discharge.
1. I felt that the introduction of the IPE care team was appropriate.
2. I felt comfortable with the amount of healthcare providers in the IPE clinic.
a. Please indicate the amount of providers present.
3. My expectations for the type and scope of care I would receive at the IPE clinic were fully met.
The ideal outcome of this intervention is enhanced patient satisfaction. Secondary outcomes include insights into patient preferences for team size. Large teams may be intimidating for patients, but we believe expectation setting through standardized introductions can help mitigate this.
The IPE Clinic at Duke is continues to add more professions in order to provide comprehensive care, however, this growth is guided by patient needs and preferences. This work aims to learn how the patient experience may be affected by large teams and moreover, if patient satisfaction can be increased by providing a uniform introduction to multidisciplinary care teams.
This project can provide insights on how patients interact best with multidisciplinary teams with respect to team size and scope of care. Lessons learned at our institution can provide direction and guidance for interprofessional education clinics across the country.