Interprofessional Collaborative Teams

Full Report (PDF, 1.02 MB)

Key Messages

Contrary to popular belief, there is an array of interprofessional collaborative care models in primary care with an essential role for nurses. Many of these models are found in Canada and also internationally.

Five types of interprofessional care models with a substantive role for nurses were found in the published and grey literature:

  • Interprofessional team models
  • Nurse-led models
  • Case management models
  • Patient navigation models
  • Shared care models

One or more models of care can be implemented within the same healthcare setting.

Evidence to support the effectiveness of these models of care varies, but there are increasingly positive patient, provider and system level outcomes.

Choosing the right model is dependent on the context. The context variables include:

  • Leadership (particularly nursing leadership), advocacy and championing of specific model
  • Political environment, biases and supports
  • Regulatory environment
  • Knowledge about the needs of the specific population being targeted
  • Availability, preparation and experience of human resources
  • Willingness of providers to collaborate
  • Capacity to train the appropriate mix of providers
  • Supports for team development (opportunities or forums, time, funding
  • Supports to address the challenges and gaps in the healthcare system
  • Available assets (balance in workload, funding, expertise, space, in-kind supports).

Lessons learned about planning and implementing interprofessional service delivery models of care need to be disseminated broadly along with supports for implementation.

More research is required to identify the essential components of each of the five models; however, since context matters, implementation of innovative models of care should be encouraged, accompanied by rigorous evaluation.