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Ask the Mental Health Expert Archives 2001-2004

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Interdisciplinary Assessments

Q. I am in a Social Worker (non-expert), Masters Degree Program in Columbia, MO. I am trying to research information on Interdisciplinary Assessments and their redundancies, to better understand the problems of time management we are having on our mental health unit and patient outcomes. I want to be able to show there are redundancies in multidisciplinary assessments and provide information on how to streamline assessments so staff have more time to do therapeutic interventions with clients and hopefully increase positive client outcomes in the future. Can you direct me to a site where I can gain information concerning this?

A. First, you may want to take a look at the article by M.S. Sheridan, entitled, "Time management in health care social work." It is published in Soc Work Health Care 1988;13(3):91-9. To quote from the abstract, "Health care social workers face significant problems in controlling and managing time. Among the causes are increased demands for service, economy measures in health care, and the concurrent responsibility which social workers often have for both ongoing case management and crisis coverage. Individuals and social work departments can increase productivity through streamlining case management, increasing use of available resources, and generating new resources."

Another article that may be of help is by LS Sommers et al, in the Archives of Internal Medicine 2000; 160:1825-33, entitled, "Physician, Nurse, and Social Worker Collaboration in Primary Care for Chronically Ill Seniors." In terms of websites, you might try www.nyu.edu/socialwork/wwwrsw. This provides many links that might provide additional information on the topic you are researching.

January 2002

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