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Teams, tribes and patient safety: overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare.
Postgrad Med J. 2014 Mar; 90(1061):149-54.PM

Abstract

Modern healthcare is delivered by multidisciplinary, distributed healthcare teams who rely on effective teamwork and communication to ensure effective and safe patient care. However, we know that there is an unacceptable rate of unintended patient harm, and much of this is attributed to failures in communication between health professionals. The extensive literature on teams has identified shared mental models, mutual respect and trust and closed-loop communication as the underpinning conditions required for effective teams. However, a number of challenges exist in the healthcare environment. We explore these in a framework of educational, psychological and organisational challenges to the development of effective healthcare teams. Educational interventions can promote a better understanding of the principles of teamwork, help staff understand each other's roles and perspectives, and help develop specific communication strategies, but may not be sufficient on their own. Psychological barriers, such as professional silos and hierarchies, and organisational barriers such as geographically distributed teams, can increase the chance of communication failures with the potential for patient harm. We propose a seven-step plan to overcome the barriers to effective team communication that incorporates education, psychological and organisational strategies. Recent evidence suggests that improvement in teamwork in healthcare can lead to significant gains in patient safety, measured against efficiency of care, complication rate and mortality. Interventions to improve teamwork in healthcare may be the next major advance in patient outcomes.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Grafton Campus, University of Auckland, , Auckland, New Zealand.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24398594

Citation

Weller, Jennifer, et al. "Teams, Tribes and Patient Safety: Overcoming Barriers to Effective Teamwork in Healthcare." Postgraduate Medical Journal, vol. 90, no. 1061, 2014, pp. 149-54.
Weller J, Boyd M, Cumin D. Teams, tribes and patient safety: overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare. Postgrad Med J. 2014;90(1061):149-54.
Weller, J., Boyd, M., & Cumin, D. (2014). Teams, tribes and patient safety: overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 90(1061), 149-54. https://doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2012-131168
Weller J, Boyd M, Cumin D. Teams, Tribes and Patient Safety: Overcoming Barriers to Effective Teamwork in Healthcare. Postgrad Med J. 2014;90(1061):149-54. PubMed PMID: 24398594.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Teams, tribes and patient safety: overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare. AU - Weller,Jennifer, AU - Boyd,Matt, AU - Cumin,David, Y1 - 2014/01/07/ PY - 2014/1/9/entrez PY - 2014/1/9/pubmed PY - 2014/11/19/medline KW - EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training) KW - Quality in health care < HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION & MANAGEMENT SP - 149 EP - 54 JF - Postgraduate medical journal JO - Postgrad Med J VL - 90 IS - 1061 N2 - Modern healthcare is delivered by multidisciplinary, distributed healthcare teams who rely on effective teamwork and communication to ensure effective and safe patient care. However, we know that there is an unacceptable rate of unintended patient harm, and much of this is attributed to failures in communication between health professionals. The extensive literature on teams has identified shared mental models, mutual respect and trust and closed-loop communication as the underpinning conditions required for effective teams. However, a number of challenges exist in the healthcare environment. We explore these in a framework of educational, psychological and organisational challenges to the development of effective healthcare teams. Educational interventions can promote a better understanding of the principles of teamwork, help staff understand each other's roles and perspectives, and help develop specific communication strategies, but may not be sufficient on their own. Psychological barriers, such as professional silos and hierarchies, and organisational barriers such as geographically distributed teams, can increase the chance of communication failures with the potential for patient harm. We propose a seven-step plan to overcome the barriers to effective team communication that incorporates education, psychological and organisational strategies. Recent evidence suggests that improvement in teamwork in healthcare can lead to significant gains in patient safety, measured against efficiency of care, complication rate and mortality. Interventions to improve teamwork in healthcare may be the next major advance in patient outcomes. SN - 1469-0756 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24398594/Teams_tribes_and_patient_safety:_overcoming_barriers_to_effective_teamwork_in_healthcare_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -