Communication patterns and group composition: implications for patient-centered care team effectiveness.J Healthc Manag. 1999 Jul-Aug; 44(4):252-66; discussion 266-8.JH
To assess how diversity affects team communication and to identify strategies to improve communication and patient care, focus groups of care production team members were held in two case study hospitals that have implemented the patient-centered care model. Results indicate that care production team members generally support patient-centered care as a model that can work effectively in practice, even in an urban environment in which diversity concerns can affect team cohesiveness and communication. Successful implementation of the model, however, requires that hospitals consistently employ management strategies and reward structures that reinforce the value of teamwork and emphasize training and staff development. Key steps that healthcare executives can undertake to improve the performance of care production teams are detailed in this article and center around the following themes: team involvement in process improvement; a heightened emphasis on training (i.e., team and diversity training for all team members, task focused training for nonlicensed care givers; and leadership training for RNs); and the implementation of team-based reward and incentive structures.