Interdisciplinary Plan Proposal
An interdisciplinary plan entails a series of activities created by a team of professionals from various fields, such as doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and informaticists. Healthcare institutions face problems that affect these professionals. These include medical errors, staff shortages, the inadequacy of resources, and poor working conditions.
These problems affect productivity issues, patient safety, and quality care delivery and can ruin an organization’s reputation hence the need for their management. Interdisciplinary teams can help discuss and develop solutions to such problems. This essay evaluates an interdisciplinary plan that can help solve the staff shortage problem, and change theory, a leadership strategy, and a collaboration strategy can support the plan’s success.
Objectives and Predictions of the Interdisciplinary Plan
The objective of the interdisciplinary plan is to reduce the consequences of staff shortages. Another objective is to balance the number of staff in the organization with the department’s needs to prevent overload in some departments and deficiency in others. An essential objective of the interdisciplinary team is to reduce the consequences of staff shortage.
According to Patel et al. (2021), staff shortage leads to an overload of the existing staff, decreased motivation and productivity, and increased nurses’ burnout and turnover. Staff shortage is inversely proportional to patient safety and care quality. The organization may be forced to employ underqualified staff to manage the shortage, compromising care quality and patient safety.
The interdisciplinary plan proposed is cross-training of healthcare professionals. Impacting new skills will enhance diversity and increase the productivity of these healthcare professionals (Patel et al., 2021). Departments will then easily balance the nurses without significant changes in care quality and patient safety. The primary goal is to improve care quality, patient safety, and organizational performance.
Change Theory and Leadership Strategy
The best change theory to apply is Kurt Lewin’s theory. The theory entails three comprehensive stages. The first stage, unfreezing, entails defining the problem, identifying causes, explaining the need for change, and mapping the change process (Tran & Gandolfi, 2019). The stage includes other aspects such as budgeting and resource allocation/planning.
The stage entails staff support to implement the change. In this case, offering to pay for staff cross-training programs or sponsoring them halfway will help produce better outcomes. The second stage, moving, will entail implementing the change (Hussain et al., 2018). People change their way of doing things, attitudes, and feelings. The stage will entail actual staff training, the assumption of new roles, and access to the accrued benefits of completing the program.
The last stage, refreezing, entails activities that will ensure the permanency of the change to ensure it becomes the new practice standard. Revising the organizational policy to include a clause legitimizing and favoring cross-training will be integral in this case.
Staff support/empowerment is the chosen leadership strategy that is highly likely to help improve the plan’s buy-in and implementation. Professional empowerment is done through increasing access to resources and information. Tran and Gandolfi (2019) note that an organization that supports its staff increases productivity and retention.
Sponsoring their education in various fields-cross training and providing post-training benefits such as an increase in salary or promotion will help manage the change. Cross-training is rigorous because professionals take up intensive training while still working. The organization should put up interventions such as giving them more free time to attend lessons and physical training and studying while working is difficult hence the need for support.
Professionals try hard to balance work, studies, and family; without adequate support, they may neglect one aspect, leading to poor family relations, decreased productivity, or poor performance (Tran & Gandolfi, 2019). Thus, staff support/empowerment is the collaborative strategy of choice in this interdisciplinary plan.
Shared decision-making is the collaboration intervention of choice. Without interprofessional collaboration, conflicts arise, and the organization’s daily activities are stalled, leading to poor performance. Shared decision-making is an intervention that incorporates interprofessional perspectives in making decisions (Jeanne et al., 2019). The decisions made are fair and acceptable to all involved professionals leading to better quality decisions and patient outcomes. Professionals also feel valued when involved in decision-making.
Representatives from professional teams also help increase buy-in from professionals. They will help present the interests of the professional team to the executive team hence inclusivity. Professionals will share responsibilities matching their qualifications and experience, and disruptive innovations will be easily leveraged after the professions engage in shared decision-making.
Budget and Resources Required
The hospital will begin by cross-training doctors and nurses, the healthcare professionals with the worse shortage. The cost of training a nurse or a doctor is too high, and cross-training costs are significantly lower than training and hiring a new professional. These professionals are also scarce.
The hospital will liaise with a local nursing college to provide the training because running the training in an institution will be more expensive in the long run. The hospital will train 100 of the 300 nurses and 40 of the 120 physicians yearly. The intention is to ensure optimum training and to prevent overwhelming the organization with the training needs.
The hospital will invest in lecturers from various schools to teach online classes. There will also be physical lessons for clinical teaching and skills impaction. The cost of training one nurse is estimated at $4000 and a physician $6000, an estimated total of $1.92 million for the three years. The hospital will liaise with a local university to ensure it delivers the best training accredited by institutions to the staff.
Cross-training staff is expensive but increases the organization’s efficiency despite the staff shortage. Cross-training also increases the professionals’ value hence a decreased need for hiring specialists, which is an expensive affair, and the specialists are scarce. The plan will also reduce medical errors, staff turnover, and burnout related to shortages and work overload. The plan will take three years to help maintain the training costs and prevent them from overburdening the organization. The plan will lead to a better organization and will thus solve the problems arising from staff shortages.
Hussain, S. T., Lei, S., Akram, T., Haider, M. J., Hussain, S. H., & Ali, M. (2018). Kurt Lewin’s change model: A critical review of the role of leadership and employee involvement in organizational change. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 3(3), 123-127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jik.2016.07.002
Jeanne Wirpsa, M., Emily Johnson, R., Bieler, J., Boyken, L., Pugliese, K., Rosencrans, E., & Murphy, P. (2019). Interprofessional models for shared decision making: The role of the health care chaplain. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 25(1), 20-44. https://doi.org/10.1080/08854726.2018.1501131
Patel, S., Hartung, B., Nagra, R., Davignon, A., Dayal, T., & Nelson, M. (2021). Expedited Cross-Training: An Approach to Help Mitigate Nurse Staffing Shortages. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 37(6), E20-E26. https://doi.org/10.1097/NND.0000000000000738
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Tran, T. T., & Gandolfi, F. (2020). Implementing Lewin’s change theory for institutional improvements: A Vietnamese case study. Journal of Management Research, 20(4), 199-210.