Sustainable interprofessional teamwork needs a team-friendly healthcare system: Experiences from a collaborative Dutch programme

Anneke van Dijk-de Vries*, Jerome Jean Jacques van Dongen, Marloes Amantia van Bokhoven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)


The significance of effective interprofessional teamwork to improve the quality of care has been widely recognised. Effective interprofessional teamwork calls on good collaboration between professionals and patients, coordination between professionals, and the development of teamwork over time. Effective development of teams also requires support from the wider organisational context. In a Dutch village, healthcare professionals work closely together, and mutual consultations as well as interprofessional meetings take place on a regular basis. The network was created as a precondition for sustainable interprofessional teamwork in elderly care. However, several external barriers were experienced regarding the supportive structure and cooperative attitude of the healthcare insurer and municipality. The aim of the article is to examine these experience-based issues regarding internal organisation, perspective, and definition of effective teamwork. Complicating factors refer to finding the right key figures, and the different perspectives on team development and team effectiveness. Our conclusion is that the organisation of healthcare insurance companies needs to implement fundamental changes to facilitate an interprofessional care approach. Furthermore, municipalities should work on their vision of the needs and benefits of a fruitful collaboration with interprofessional healthcare teams. The challenge for healthcare teams is to learn to speak the language of external partners. To support the development of interprofessional teams, external parties need to recognise and trust in a shared aim to provide quality of care in an efficient and effective way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-169
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Community care
  • interprofessional care
  • interprofessional policy
  • team-based practice
  • teamwork

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