The integration of HIV care and behavioral health is an innovative approach. However, creating a successful collaborative care team can be difficult to achieve due to clinical differences between primary and behavioral health providers. But when done correctly, collaboration among these types providers can maximize the impact on depression in HIV patients.
A wide variety of professionals is required to build an effective comprehensive care team. These include, but are not limited to, behavioral health care managers, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, HIV physicians, medical technical assistants, medical case managers, and social workers.
A Project Champion is absolutely necessary to the formula. This person secures stakeholder buy-in, challenges resistance among peers, provides administrative oversight, troubleshoots, creates clear roles and responsibilities, cross-trains members, and ensures complete and appropriate implementation of the collaborative model. The team itself must embrace a shared vision and accept a nonhierarchical team structure.
Communication among members is the most essential aspect in order for collaborative care to be effective. And the team needs continued reassessment of the team-based care process and their individual roles.