Can interprofessional collaboration provide health human resources solutions? A knowledge synthesis

J Interprof Care. 2012 Jul;26(4):261-8. doi: 10.3109/13561820.2012.663014. Epub 2012 Mar 5.


Many studies examine the impact of interprofessional (IP) interventions on various health practice and education outcomes. One significant gap is the lack of research on the effects of IP interventions on health human resource (HHR) outcomes. This project synthesized the literature on the impact of IP interventions at the pre- and post-licensure levels on quality workplace, staff satisfaction, recruitment, retention, turnover, choice of employment and cost effectiveness. Forty-one peer-reviewed articles and five IECPCP project reports were included in the review. We found that IP interventions at the post-licensure level improved provider satisfaction and workplace quality. Including IP learning opportunities into practice education in rural communities or in less popular healthcare specialties attracted a higher number of students and therefore may increase employment rates. This area requires more high quality studies to firmly establish the effectiveness of IP interventions in recruiting and retaining future healthcare professionals. There is strong evidence that IP interventions at the post-licensure level reduced patient care costs. The knowledge synthesis has enhanced our understanding of the relationships between IP interventions, IP collaboration and HHR outcomes. Gaps remain in the knowledge of staff retention and determination of staffing costs associated with IP interventions vis-à-vis patient care costs. None of the studies reported long-term data on graduate employment choice, which is essential to fully establish the effectiveness of IP interventions as a HHR recruitment strategy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Health Workforce*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Knowledge*
  • Quality of Health Care
  • United States