Background Multidisciplinary team (MDT) meetings are important in various specialties to ensure organised and collaborative care for patients. In palliative care, the MDT includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, therapists, psychologists, chaplaincy staff and social workers. Understanding the collective goal and individual roles within MDT meetings is important to ensure efficient delivery of patient care.
Method(s) We conducted a survey of staff expectations and experiences of the MDT meetings held in the inpatient unit of a 21-bed hospice. The survey consisted of 15 multi-choice questions, with space for free-text responses.
Results There were 20 responses from doctors, nurses and allied health professionals out of 44 recipients. The most highly ranked professional benefits from the MDT meeting were: improved continuity of care between professionals (ranked as the top benefit by 42%), improved communication between professionals and collegiality. 41% of people felt that MDT meetings helped them save time. Where respondents felt that MDT meetings did not save time, it was because they felt decisions were delayed until the meeting. There was no consensus on whether the integrated palliative care outcome scale (IPOS) should be reviewed in weekly MDT meetings. Respondents attending remotely highlighted that they sometimes did not feel part of the meeting with the hybrid video format which served to reinforce a medical/nursing dominance over other disciplines. To achieve more effective MDT meetings, suggestions focused on the need to value the contributions from all disciplines.
Conclusion(s) The respondents acknowledged the role of MDT meetings as an important tool to communicate the care of patients between members of the team. Making these meetings truly multidisciplinary remains a challenge and more work is needed to explore ways of promoting and achieving this.
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