The Multidisciplinary Team: Collaborating to Improve Outcomes

The Multidisciplinary Team:
How We Do It


7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Room 30E

A multidisciplinary team is key to improving clinical outcomes, reducing the length and cost of hospital stays, and enhancing communication among health care providers. As the movement toward collaborative care gains momentum, nonphysician health care providers are playing increasingly important roles on the cardiothoracic surgery team.  

Jill Engel, DNP, ACNP

Jill Engel, DNP, ACNP

Among them are advanced practice providers (APPs), who can help enhance the quality and efficiency of health care delivery, especially as treatment options expand, care becomes more complex, and patient acuity levels increase. As a result, it is crucial to train APPs so that they understand evidence-based care guidelines and are capable of autonomously providing advanced care in different settings.  

Models of care and training for cardiothoracic surgery APPs at Duke University in Durham, NC, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore will be shared at Sunday morning’s multidisciplinary team session.

“Attendees will learn about innovations and trends in institutions with significant experience, and they can then implement those concepts back home,” said co-moderator Stefano Schena, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins. 

 “At Duke University Hospital, APPs enhance care across the spectrum, including preoperative, OR, ICU, and step-down unit settings. As a result, we’ve had to create unique approaches to onboarding, precepting, and orientation of these crucial team members,” said co-moderator Jill Engel, DNP, ACNP, of Duke University Health System.

Implementing ERAS Protocols
Another relatively new trend in the care of cardiothoracic surgery patients involves enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols, which are multimodal, evidence-based, perioperative care plans. The cardiac surgery ERAS protocol includes evidence-based consensus on 23 recommendations, and the thoracic surgery protocol includes 18 such recommendations. 

Jill Ley, RN, MS

Jill Ley, RN, MS

Although these protocols are relatively new, studies have already shown that they significantly reduce length of stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, postoperative complications, and costs. However, putting an ERAS protocol into practice can be challenging.

“Implementing ERAS requires essential clinical experts, electronic health record analysts, and task-driven planning tools to effectively redesign workflows, beginning in the physician’s office,” said Jill Ley, RN, MS, of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. 

Ley and other speakers with ERAS experience will share work plans, milestone documents, provider engagement strategies, targeted patient education literature, and other tools that have proven successful in integrating ERAS into the organizational cultures at their institutions.

In addition to these invited lectures, scientific abstracts on interprofessional simulation, early recovery for coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, autologous blood donation, and other multidisciplinary topics are part of the program.