Innovation in Healthcare, Innovation in Law: Does the Law Support Interprofessional Collaboration in Canadian Health Systems?

Osgoode Hall Law School
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 2016, 54 (1), pp. 97 - 124
Issue Date:
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Interprofessional collaboration in health care describes a model of practice in which multiple health professionals work together in a team-based approach to patient care. A growing body of literature demonstrates that interprofessional collaboration advances health care quality and safety, improves patient outcomes and experiences of care, and promotes job satisfaction among health professionals. Governments and health organizations across Canada are working to advance interprofessional health care delivery. This article examines the importance of law in supporting a shift to interprofessional collaboration in Canadian health care and discusses two key aspects of the legal context in which health practitioners work. First, the article discusses trends in the legal regulation of health professions in Canada, including law reform initiatives aimed at promoting collaborative practice and at expanding scopes of practice to break down the historically siloed approach to health care delivery. Second, the article examines civil liability rules that courts apply when allegations of negligence are made against health care providers working in team-based situations. regarding responsibility for patient care and outcomes. The article illustrates how legal innovations, such as new models of health profession regulation and legal adaptability through judicial understanding of the modern context of health service delivery, are important to the advancement of interprofessional collaboration in Canadian health care.
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