Table 1

Models of Team Health Care Practice

Parallel [3-5]

- characterized by independent health care practitioners working in a common setting

- each individual performs his/her job within his/her formally-defined scope of practice

Consultative [3-5]

- expert advice is given from one professional to another; this may be via direct personal communication, but is often via a formal letter or referral note

Collaborative [3]

- practitioners, who normally practice independently from each other, share information concerning a particular patient who has been (is being) treated by each of them

- these collaborations are ad-hoc in nature and usually occur informally on a case-by-case basis

Coordinated [3]

- a formalized administrative structure requires communication and the sharing of patient records among professionals who are members of a team intentionally gathered to provide treatment for a particular disease or to deliver a specific therapy

- a case coordinator (or case manager) is responsible for ensuring that information is transferred to and from relevant practitioners and the patient

Multidisciplinary [3]

- is characterized by teams, managed by a leader (usually not a physician) that plans patient care

- one or two individuals usually direct the services of a range of ancillary members who may or may not meet face-to-face

- each individual team member continues to make their own decisions and recommendations which may be integrated by the team leader

- is a highly articulated and formalized outgrowth of coordinated practice

Interdisciplinary [3]

- emerges from multidisciplinary practice when the practitioners that make up the team begin to make group (usually based on a consensus model) decisions about patient care facilitated by regular, face-to-face meetings.

Integrative [2]

- consists of an interdisciplinary, non-hierarchical blending of both conventional medicine and complementary and alternative health care that provides a seamless continuum of decision-making and patient-centred care and support

- is based on a specific set of core values that include the goals of treating the whole person, assisting the innate healing properties of each person, and promoting health and wellness as well as the prevention of disease

- employs an interdisciplinary team approach guided by consensus building, mutual respect, and a shared vision of health care that permits each practitioner and the patient to contribute their particular knowledge and skills within the context of a shared, synergistically charged plan of care


Boon et al. BMC Health Services Research 2004 4:15   doi:10.1186/1472-6963-4-15

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