Multidisciplinary care: A team-centered, patient-focused method to weight problems administration

September 20, 2022

4 min learn


Weight problems is a posh illness with multifactorial etiology. Multidisciplinary care is an optimum approach to help sufferers with short-term success, long-term weight reduction upkeep, and the prevention of obesity-related issues.

In the USA, 41.9% of the inhabitants is affected by weight problems. With a variety of related bodily and psychological issues like diabetes, hypertension, melancholy and anxiousness, weight problems should be handled by an interdisciplinary crew working collectively to create a complete, patient-focused plan.

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Supply: Bharti Shetye, MD

What’s multidisciplinary care?

A multidisciplinary method includes a crew of well being care professionals who leverage their experience and collaborate to offer high-quality affected person care. For instance, in a Bariatric Heart of Excellence, that crew might embody a bariatric surgeon, weight problems drugs specialist, registered dietician, psychiatrist or psychotherapist, and a nonmedical crew together with an insurance coverage coordinator, bariatric coordinator, nursing employees and workplace employees.

Research present that sufferers obtain greater high quality care when a bunch of medical consultants works collectively. Maximizing the skillset of a number of suppliers enhances and enhances the general high quality of care when managing a multifaceted situation like weight problems.

How can suppliers implement a multidisciplinary method?

Step one is diagnosing the affected person’s etiologies. Weight problems presents in another way in every affected person relying on his or her comorbidities and well being components, so making a baseline understanding of the affected person’s underlying situations is essential in realizing learn how to transfer ahead with therapy.

When working with a number of well being care professionals, sharing an correct and in-depth affected person well being historical past is paramount to delivering the best high quality care. For instance, when treating a affected person with an consuming dysfunction, collaboration between the dietitian, psychiatrist/psychotherapist and weight problems administration specialist is useful in figuring out the etiology, which results in a well-developed therapy plan.

For suppliers and practices that wish to lay the muse for profitable multidisciplinary care, there are a number of steps to take:

  1. Individuals-first language: The complete crew, from medical doctors to front-office employees, ought to be educated in people first language (PFL). PFL places the individual earlier than the situation, so utilizing a phrase like “individual with weight problems” as an alternative of “overweight individual.” Sufferers with weight problems usually face weight bias, so professionals should use empathetic language in all conversations with them.
  2. Bariatric furniture: The clinic ought to have bariatric patient-specific lodging like chairs, doorways, elevators, bioimpedance weighing scales, blood stress cuffs and robes.
  3. Varieties and consents: Make sure the workplace has all vital kinds relating to procedures and consents (for instance, if the workplace is shelling out managed substances, know the state guidelines relating to shelling out).
  4. Hospital credentials: Confirm the workplace is correctly credentialed for bariatric surgical procedure with the hospital.
  5. Heart of Excellence protocols and insurance policies: If the workplace is pursuing a Bariatric Heart of Excellence designation, entry the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgical procedure Accreditation and High quality Enchancment Program database for protocols and insurance policies.

What are the advantages of multidisciplinary care?

Multidisciplinary care has wide-ranging advantages for each the affected person and the well being care crew. Making a patient-first, built-in therapy plan can result in a extra environment friendly, efficient course of for everybody concerned.

Potential affected person advantages embody:

  • entry to a complete roster of medical consultants who’re well-versed within the affected person’s medical historical past;
  • faster prognosis and therapy timeline on account of real-time collaboration between suppliers;
  • improved outcomes on account of a multidisciplinary method of physicians and suppliers providing their experience on the affected person’s situation; and
  • higher affected person satisfaction.

Well being care professionals additionally see the advantages, together with:

  • improved communication and collaboration amongst care groups and suppliers;
  • extra environment friendly therapy course of and timeline;
  • deeper relationships between physicians, suppliers and employees; and
  • discount of redundancies or lag-time throughout the therapy course of.

Right here is a wonderful illustration of how this care technique would perform for a affected person making ready for bariatric surgical procedure. As a substitute of navigating a number of suppliers and therapy protocols, the affected person can profit from a “one-stop-shop” course of:

  1. The affected person meets with the bariatric coordinator to grasp insurance coverage necessities.
  2. The coordinator works with the insurance coverage firm for approval and pre-authorization.
  3. The affected person meets with an obesity medicine specialist for an correct historical past and prognosis, which is able to then inform the care plan.
  4. The crew engages with a dietitian to optimize vitamin plans and find out about pre- and post-bariatric surgical procedure vitamin necessities.
  5. A psychiatrist engages with the affected person to offer steering and experience on the psychological and emotional elements of bariatric surgical procedure (this step is commonly mandated by insurance coverage).
  6. A bariatric surgeon educates the affected person on the professionals and cons of the process and formulates a therapeutic plan.
  7. The complete crew works with the affected person for short- and long-term success and prevention of issues.

Whereas multidisciplinary care has many advantages, it doesn’t come with out challenges. To keep away from communication roadblocks or overlap, it’s vital to obviously outline every supplier’s function on the crew early within the course of.

Understanding how and when folks on the crew will talk with the affected person is essential for the long-term success of a multidisciplinary method and can assist mitigate confusion or duplication all through the period of therapy.

Sources to get began

The Weight problems Drugs Affiliation (OMA) has sources and networking alternatives to assist suppliers improve and evolve their practices. As the biggest medical weight problems group within the U.S., OMA consists of greater than 4,000 physicians, nurse practitioners, doctor assistants and different well being care suppliers devoted to stopping, treating and reversing the illness of weight problems. To be taught extra, join OMA and entry a variety of sources.

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