Individuals with severe disabilities present with complex profiles and needs that are best addressed by teams of professional working together through a process called interprofessional collaborative practice (IPCP). This emerging concept consists of core ideals as described by the World Health Organization including patient and family centeredness, community-oriented care, and relationship-focused service delivery. IPCP has also been described as process oriented, outcome driven, and applicable across disciplines and practice settings.
There are two general paths to IPCP. Some professionals are lucky enough to have been trained in programs that are committed to interprofessional collaborative education. These professionals are ready at graduation to work successfully with interprofessional collaborative teams. The other pathways require professionals to go out and find others, from other disciplines, who are committed to the concept. Regardless of the path, IPCP is more challenging than independent practice; however, the potential benefits are great for professionals and the individuals with severe disabilities they serve.
IPCP is the future of service delivery for individuals with severe disabilities.
Clinical Forum: Interprofessional Collaborative Practices in Service Delivery For Individuals With Severe Disabilities. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 26(2), 157–559.
World Health Organization (2010). Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice [PDF].