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Understanding Teamwork in Health Care
Understanding Teamwork in Health Care

Understanding Teamwork in Health Care, 1st Edition

ISBN10: 0071791965 | ISBN13: 9780071791960
By Gordon Mosser and James Begun
© 2014

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* The estimated amount of time this product will be on the market is based on a number of factors, including faculty input to instructional design and the prior revision cycle and updates to academic research-which typically results in a revision cycle ranging from every two to four years for this product. Pricing subject to change at any time.

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A complete introductory guide to the principles and clinical application of teamwork in health care

Understanding Teamwork in Health Care emphasizes the essential competencies necessary to implement teamwork in health care in a complex hospital or primary care setting. Unlike similar books on the subject which are theoretical or policy-oriented, this text offers practical, real-world coverage.

  • Valuable for health care professionals seeking a thorough explanation of teamwork and for trainers working in hospitals or primary care settings; could also be used as a textbook.
  • Mini-cases throughout the text help readers appreciate real-world application of principles
  • Written to a level suited for the non-specialist


§ Why teamwork has become important in health care

§ The audience for this book

§ Goal of the book

§ The authors’ opinions about teamwork

o Much more effective teamwork is needed in health care

o People in different professions need to understand one another’s knowledge bases, skills, values, and roles much better than they now do

o For many situations, hierarchy gradients in healthcare teams need to be decreased

o Physicians continue to have a particularly important role in health care, but they should not be presumed to the captains of all healthcare teams of which they are members

o Administrators should be regarded as contributing members of many healthcare teams; they are critical to mobilizing resources and to creating a positive organizational culture for teamwork


Chapter 1: The Need for Teamwork

§ What is a work team?

§ How work groups differ from work teams

§ Available evidence supports the claim that teams are more effective that individuals for many tasks in many environments

§ In particular, available evidence supports the claim that interprofessional healthcare teams are more effective in providing care than are individual practitioners working alone

§ Performing well in a team calls for new competencies

§ The competency framework for the book

Chapter 2: Types of Healthcare Teams

§ Teams with urgent, short-term tasks (e.g., code blue teams)

§ Teams with long-term tasks and little urgency (e.g., primary care teams)

§ Teams with high turn-over from episode to episode (e.g., emergency c-section teams)

§ Teams of long duration with high turn-over (e.g., specialty hospital service teams)

§ Teams that take action to improve care but do not provide the care (e.g., performance improvement teams)

§ Teams that evaluate performance (e.g., hospital quality oversight teams)

§ Teams that plan institutional futures (e.g., hospital executive teams)

§ An overall framework for understanding different types of teams

Chapter 3: Health Professionals and Interprofessional Health Care: Education and training, varieties of practice, and characteristic values of the professions

§ Medicine

§ Nursing

§ Pharmacy

§ Social work

§ Healthcare administration

§ Mental health

§ Allied and other healthcare professions

Chapter 4: The Healthcare Administrator and Interprofessional Health Care

· Why administrators are commonly not considered to be members of healthcare teams

· What administrators bring to teams and teamwork, including organizational infrastructure and a supportive organizational culture

· The value of clinician-administrator teamwork

Chapter 5: The Patient and Interprofessional Health Care

· What is patient-centered care?

· Models for the role of the patient in interprofessional health care

· The role of the patient’s family and other care-givers in interprofessional health care


Chapter 6: Characteristics of Effective Teams

§ When do teams add value, and when do they not?

§ What are the characteristics of effective work teams?

Chapter 7: Designing Interprofessional Healthcare Teams

§ The concept of microsystems

§ Belbin's team roles

§ What is the role of the leader?

§ Defining the team’s task

§ Team composition, diversity, and size

§ Distinguishing the core team from other participants

§ Including team members in addition to healthcare professionals, for example, clerical workers and housekeepers

§ Designing to match task urgency, task duration, and turnover rate


Chapter 8: Initiating and Operating Interprofessional Healthcare Teams

§ Leading teams effectively

§ Developing and maintaining purpose, identity, and mutual accountability.

§ Formation of new teams

§ Managing turnover in teams of long duration

§ Making decisions by strong central authority, voting, consensus, and unanimous agreement—and when each is appropriate

§ Maximizing creativity in improving team function

§ Attending to the emotional side of teamwork

§ Relating effectively to the larger organization in which the team functions

Chapter 9: Team Training


· Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management

· Other methods

· Evidence concerning effectiveness of team training in health care

Chapter 10: Achieving High Reliability and Safety in Interprofessional Healthcare Teams

§ Defining safety in health care

§ Principles of high reliability in health care teams

§ Use of simulation in initial training of health care professionals and in ongoing training for improved safety, outcomes, patient experience, efficiency, and equity

Chapter 11: Evaluating Performance of Interprofessional Healthcare Teams

§ Methods for evaluating teams

§ Specific measures of team performance

§ Providing feedback to individuals and teams

§ Using evaluation measures in systematic performance improvement

Chapter 12: Troubleshooting Healthcare Teams

§ Re-framing the task

§ Team building projects

§ Changing leaders

§ Revising team composition

§ Managing conflict

§ When and how to disband a team

Chapter 13: Building a Teamwork Culture in Healthcare Delivery Organizations

  • The importance and characteristics of culture in high-performing organizations
  • The role of leadership in establishing and improving a teamwork culture
  • Achieving an interprofessional mindset
  • Integrating team members who are healthcare workers but not healthcare professionals
  • Continuing education for teamwork
  • Assessing team values and beliefs

§ Changing team culture to improve team performance:

o in teams of with low task urgency and long duration

o in teams of high task urgency

o in the organization as a whole

Chapter 14: The Future of Interprofessional Health Care

§ Interprofessional teamwork and health care reform in the U.S., for example, teamwork in patient-centered medical homes and in accountable care organizations

§ Global trends in interprofessional health care

§ The need for bold leadership to reframe how we think about teamwork and to achieve genuine collaboration

§ Next steps in hospitals, medical offices, and professional education

There are two British books dealing with interprofessional healthcare teams. However, they refer extensively to the National Health Service and so are regarded by many readers as inapplicable to U.S. health care.

About the Author

Gordon Mosser

James Begun

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