Co-location and collaboration are not the same thing. Technology can be a powerful tool to bridge the gap, especially when co-location isn’t an option

Even if professionals are working in the same space, or students are learning in the same space, they may not necessarily be collaborating with and learning from one another. Collaboration takes active engagement and communication, as well as shared decision-making. While patients may theoretically benefit by having more than one provider present in the same space, true team-based care means that multiple providers need to be actively applying their own expertise and working with other providers to achieve the best overall result for the patient’s needs.

Conversely, professionals don’t need to be in the same physical space to collaborate. Especially with the help of effective and affordable digital technology, inter-professional collaboration can increasingly be accomplished by collaborators who may even be thousands of miles apart.