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Tom Sharon
Conferences and meetings
to plan the next move



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The Attitude of the Health-Care Team

On the topic of team conferences, this is a meeting of various members of the health-care team usually comprising a physician, a nurse, a physical therapist, a social worker, a discharge planner, and representatives of other disciplines. These individuals come together to discuss the patient's condition and progress and to plan the next move. Over the past three decades, there has been a movement toward inviting the patient and/or family member to attend and participate in the planning. With the entire team arrayed before you, you have an excellent opportunity to ask any questions about the illness and possible complications and raise any concerns about safety and the quality of your services.

The presence of such a program keeps all aspects of your care coordinated with you being the one in charge. Many medical centers have either done away with this practice or never implemented it. This is one of the first activities management eliminates as staffing numbers dwindle. Without such a team approach, the services are always fragmented, sometimes duplicated, and occasionally missing. You will see each of the members of the health-care "team" one by one without knowing if they ever talk to each other about your condition and treatment.

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