BMC Health Serv Res. 2023 Jan 3;23(1):5. doi: 10.1186/s12913-022-08973-5.
BACKGROUND: While interprofessional collaboration (IPC) is widely considered a key element of comprehensive patient treatment, evidence focusing on its impact on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) is inconclusive. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between employee-rated IPC and PROs in a clinical inpatient setting.
METHODS: We conducted a secondary data analysis of the entire patient and employee reported data collected by the Picker Institute Germany in cross-sectional surveys between 2003 and 2016. Individual patient data from departments within hospitals was matched with employee survey data from within 2 years of treatment at the department-level. Items assessing employee-rated IPC (independent variables) were included in Principal Component Analysis (PCA). All questions assessing PROs (overall satisfaction, less discomforts, complications, treatment success, willingness to recommend) served as main dependent variables in ordered logistic regression analyses. Results were adjusted for multiple hypothesis testing as well as patients’ and employees’ gender, age, and education.
RESULTS: The data set resulted in 6154 patients from 19 hospitals respective 103 unique departments. The PCA revealed three principal components (department-specific IPC, interprofessional organization, and overall IPC), explaining 67% of the total variance. The KMO measure of sampling adequacy was .830 and Bartlett’s test of sphericity highly significant (p < 0.001). An increase of 1 SD in department-specific IPC was associated with a statistically significant chance of a higher (i.e., better) PRO-rating about complications after discharge (OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.00-1.13, p = 0.029). However, no further associations were found. Exploratory analyses revealed positive coefficients of department-specific IPC on all PROs for patients which were treated in surgical or internal medicine departments, whereas results were ambiguous for pediatric patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The association between department-level IPC and patient-level PROs remains – as documented in previous literature – unclear and results are of marginal effect sizes. Future studies should keep in mind the different types of IPC, their specific characteristics and possible effect mechanisms.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Study registration: Open Science Framework (DOI https://doi.org/10.17605/OSF.IO/2NYAX ); Date of registration: 09 November 2021.