Cynthia F. Corbett, PhD, Linda L. Costa, PhD, Michele C. Balas PhD, William J. Burke, MD, E. Robert Feroli, PharmD, Kenn B. Daratha, PhD
With our paper, “Facilitators and Challenges to Conducting Interdisciplinary Research,” we described the lessons learned from selected INQRI studies to demonstrate nurses’ contributions to high-functioning, patient-centered teams to improve the safety, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. We believe that the complex issues challenging the U.S. health care system require interdisciplinary solutions, but that perceived barriers exist to the conduct of this type of inquiry. However, INQRI teams showed that there are several facilitators to promote interdisciplinary research including funding streams, demonstrated benefits, and policy trends that are promoting interprofessional education and practice. We found that interdisciplinary research can create synergistic relationships to produce outcomes that are greater than those that could be realized by single disciplinary research. But, to do so, barriers to interdisciplinary research must be overcome. We recommend that researchers employ these strategies to overcome these barriers: 1) garner strong support from institutional leaders at all phases of the research project; 2) communicate effectively; and 3) implement effective models of leadership.
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