Dietitians’ Perspectives on the Impact of Multidisciplinary Teams and Electronic Medical Records on Dietetic Practice for Weight Management
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Purpose: To understand the perception of dietitians regarding the effects of multidisciplinary settings and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) on their dietetic practice for weight management. Methods: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 dietitians working in multidisciplinary settings in Ontario. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Two researchers coded the data independently using a thematic analysis approach. All themes emerged inductively and were refined iteratively. Results: Most dietitians believed that working in a multidisciplinary setting allowed for interprofessional collaboration and time-effective referrals. Multidisciplinary clinics were perceived to improve patient care due to convenient scheduling, consistent messaging, and ongoing support. However, some dietitians reported instances of conflicting approaches and beliefs regarding weight management across health professionals. Dietitians suggested ways to address these conflicting approaches through clinical meetings and education. EHRs were perceived to allow for collaboration through facilitated communication and knowledge exchange; however, lack of interoperability between EHR platforms across different types of health care settings was perceived to be a barrier for optimal care. Conclusions: Overall, multidisciplinary settings were perceived to positively impact dietitians' practices for weight management as they allow for interprofessional collaboration. Consistency in health messaging across health professionals should be emphasized through knowledge exchange.
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