In today's panel session we are further discussing the importance of interprofessional education and the ways in which we can help this progression. The first topic was about the effect of learning what physicians and chiropractors do in their everyday task at work. This is important to know as it outlines the boundaries of each of their respective role in public health. Collaboration and integration came up again today, as it has been in our small group sessions. Again today, these terms were defined and explored as follows:
Collaboration: chiropractors are not new to this, in the past they were included but not allowed to fully use their skill.
The distinctive difference between collaboration and integration:
Collaboration: working together in the absence of formal structure and processes to deliver health care, maintaining the individual group's autonomy, having patients in common, working cooperatively and sharing information about the patient and type of care being delivered.
Integration: Working interdependently, common structure, shared patients, shared roles in the patients progress and treatment plan.
With this, it is obvious that we can have collaboration without integration, but cannot have integration without collaboration. Other aspects of the profession that contribute to the integration are the knowledge each profession possess, their skills, and behaviours, all of which must be highlighted and exemplified in order for boundaries to be broke. All of these are critical elements of collaboration. Suggested ways to improve the transition to a more integrative health care system included using more concise and informative referral notes, and enhancing communication between chiropractors and physicians.
Another huge component of integration that everyone must be aware of is the need to adopt a tolerance to the behaviours we may encounter in regards to the attitudes and ideals that are not 100% supportive of chiropractics role in public health. Here, it is important to remain professional no matter what type of behaviour may be thrown our way because everyone is in the same boat.
There would be benefits for the profession of chiropractic if more of its members were to attend interdisciplinary meetings, to show their initiative and seriousness in collaborative treatment and maintenance of health.
Being patient and professional during this process will be key, as change across the public, health and legal system does in fact take a long time. Perhaps the best way to have an immediate effect then, is through the education of future health care professionals.