Healthcare Headlines Blog

Benefits of Patient Inclusion in Interdisciplinary Care Team Discussions

By Sean R. Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Hospitals

In the years leading up to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have taken a greater interest in their overall health, especially those with chronic illnesses. In a 2020 survey conducted by The Advisory Board, 66% of respondents with chronic conditions were more interested in taking a proactive approach to health, and 56% were more interested in managing their underlying conditions than prior to the pandemic.1

As physicians and allied professionals strive to meet consumer expectations, research is revealing that increased patient involvement leads to greater satisfaction and improved outcomes. 

Research on the importance of patient inclusion in healthcare decision-making

One innovative approach to improving patient satisfaction and outcomes is to establish protocol for including the patient in typical care team discussions. Interdisciplinary care teams bring together physicians, therapists, nurses, and other caregivers in a coordinated approach to the patient’s treatment. This improves the efficiency and quality of care and minimizes the risk of miscommunication between all parties. This is essential as communication failure is one of the most common causes of patient setback and delayed discharge.2

When providers establish rigorous practices for patients to participate in these conversations, coordinated care becomes even more effective. Patients involved in care decisions have:

  • More realistic expectations of side effects or recovery time
  • Less anxiety about their treatment
  • Greater adherence to their treatment plans

These benefits all contribute to greater patient satisfaction and improved outcomes.3

Kindred Hospitals patient inclusion strategy: Interdisciplinary Care Teams

Kindred Hospitals’ interdisciplinary care teams of physicians, nurses, dietitians, skin specialists, and rehabilitation therapists collaborate to coordinate patient-specific care plans. As part of their advanced care delivery model, Kindred’s interdisciplinary care teams go above and beyond by conducting their daily meetings at the bedside of the patient whose care plans they are discussing. Previously, such meetings were conducted in a conference room away from the patient and family. Kindred, however, recognized the immense benefit of transparency during the care plan creation and progress, as well as patient and family inclusion, and therefore moved these meetings to the bedside.

If you have a post-COVID or other patient in need of continued acute care, call a Kindred Clinical Liaison for a patient assessment. Our experts will help you determine whether an LTACH stay is appropriate for your patient. If you are unsure of who your Kindred representative is, please feel free to contact us via and speak with a Registered Nurse who can assist.


  1. Advisory Board Covid-19 Consumer Survey, June 2020.
By Sean R. Muldoon, MD, MPH, FCCP, Chief Medical Officer, Kindred Hospitals