Collaboration Across Professions Improves Patient Outcomes

Nurses have to be full partners. My question is when committees are generated to decide things in health care organizations, is a nurse at the table? Is a nurse on that board? is a nurse part of that decision-making process? And sometimes I think we’ve stepped back a little too far so I think we need to step forward. I think it makes sense to back up with a nursing supervisor. My name is Mary Hirshman, and I’m the regional nursing director for Children’s Medical Services, Southeast Florida. Collaboration is critical to everything we do at Children’s Medical Services. We’re serving such a vulnerable population. It’s a must. Nobody can do it alone for these children. How long were you in the hospital for? Nurses are champions of interprofessional collaboration. We can be role models in terms of negotiation. I mean, building trust: that’s something we bring to the table. This right here I have to take every day and every night. I take two for snacks and three for meals. My daughter Diamond is ten years old she’s in fourth grade. She has end-stage renal disease. Her kidneys don’t function. She does hemodialysis treatments three days a week at four hours per treatment. Yeah, I do have the help, thank God, of the nurses. See the [G2] When they told me she was gonna be on dialysis, I was like, this is not happening. You know, we can’t do that. I’m on dialysis. She’s on dialysis. We can’t do that. That’s all I was thinking. Mommy remember that you had this with the care coordinator, with the social worker? Anytime that you need us, you can call. Yes, I know that already. We go to the families. The home visits are where the families are able to express with their nurse and social worker on their grounds, in their home, what they feel their needs are, and then we bring that to the multidisciplinary team. Case number one, Diamond Hicks. Ten-year-old female, history of end-stage renal disease. Her mom is also under dialysis and is the primary caregiver. Both the mother and the child have end-stage renal disease? Yes. How is the child doing emotionally? She’s doing fine. Yeah? She’s very outgoing, very verbal. Mom is very supportive, very positive. Our nurses, our social workers, the medical directors, everybody brings in their own area of interest and what they know about the patient. There are many situations where a nurse goes to the home and tells us, my patient needs a little bit more care. The mother has medical problems that she needs to deal with, that’s why it’s so vital that we have the social worker and the nurse at the meeting. Keep her at 12 hours and 5 days? Mom says it’s working. Yeah, as long as it’s working. Yeah, okay. Are you able to do any sports in school, like PE? I do recess? She made honor roll. She’s much more stable when you have the social worker plus the nurse. They’re looking at the family as a whole. You need that in this situation. The top plan in Florida for HEDIS measures and medicaid, the same measures that might be used for an HMO Wow, ok, we have the most vulnerable children in the county, but we came up with the top HEDIS measures meeting those criteria. That came out of just collaboration. I think we’ve proven that Interprofessional Collaboration brings it to the next level of problem solving to make an impact on the health care that you’re providing for your communities.


  1. I am Cynthia Jones and these nurses and their staff are phenomenal.I didn't know this was out. Now my daughter had her kidney transplant March 3, 2013

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