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Medicine as a discipline includes a complicated gamut of various underlying specialties and subcategories, most of which interact continuously in the daily working environment in a hospital. It is therefore important for medical staff to be able to understand the circumstances under which certain professionals should be called in to assist, and when they may be able to handle the case themselves. This means that interdisciplinary concepts that are shared by a team working on a particular case may go a long way in boosting the quality of the communication within the team and consequently improve the quality and speed of work. Examples of two specialties that may interact in the ordinary work day in a medical institution are sonography and Cytology.
Sonography is the use of ultrasound techniques to acquire images of certain parts of the body, such as the abdominal organs and structures, obstetrics and gynecology, superficial structures (e.g., thyroid, breast, vessels prostate and testicles), and the newborn (brain, spine and hips). The images generated are then used by physicians as a diagnostic tool to treat certain ailments that may be identified. Cytology on the other hand is the study of the structure and the functioning of the body cells. The main objective of such an investigation being the determination of any anomalies in the cell structure and functioning that may indicate the existence of diseases.
Better communication can result as a result of a medical team understanding the dimensions and parameters under which different specialties may be necessary for the successful operation of a healthcare facility. For example a physician assistant who is knowledgeable in both sonographical concepts and cytological procedures may be able to accurately determine the circumstances under which each specialty may be necessary, and effectively communicate the same to other team members, leading to a more accurate diagnosis.
Improved communication as a result of better understanding of the interdisciplinary concepts is beneficial to the client, as it is a guarantee of a much more accurate diagnosis and consequently effective treatment. Even though such specialties as sonography and cytology may not be present in all healthcare facility, the understanding of what they entail by medical personnel may still be of prime importance as they can determine correctly when it can be applied and under what circumstances depending on the particular case in question. An example of such a scenario would be a hospital that does not have a sonographer but has a cytotechnologist who understands the circumstances under which sonography would be most appropriate, in such a case, a referral to another facility can be made, hence benefiting the patient and saving the hospital valuable time that would have been spent on unnecessary procedures. The same applies to a long term medical facility and an outpatient clinic, as there would be better communication with the patient and other staff.
In the absence of a particular specialty, a medical institution can still be able to undertake treatment through the use other professionals who have knowledge in the field. For example a sonographer who understands particular concepts of cytology may be able to perform tests on a patient in an emergency situation depending on the seriousness of the case. In consideration of the above facts, it’s of prime importance that medical professionals have concepts in different specializations that they may interact with in the ordinary course of work, and should be willing to be cross trained. Medical coverage policies describes the evaluation and coverage of medical procedures and devices that are being investigated or have been recently introduced as relates to cross training in different specialties, the presence of written policies describing coverage issues may not be uncommon.