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Team-Based Healthcare in Nursing Practice


Team-based health care is supported by the current U.S. health care system, although it is not implemented in every institution. As Babiker et al. (2014) point out, nowadays patients are rarely cared for by only one physician or nurse. Usually, it is a team of professionals who ensure that miscommunication and other adverse factors are less likely to happen due to effective teamwork. Different types of teams identified by the healthcare system (e.g., core teams, coordinating teams, contingency teams, support services, and administration) are responsible for various operations.

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Principles of team-based care are also outlined by the U.S. healthcare system: it emphasizes shared goals, clear roles, effective communication, measurable processes and outcomes, and leadership as primary factors that influence the quality of healthcare (Babiker et al., 2014). Any team strives to provide quality and efficient care; it often requires strong leadership and the ability to build relationships within the team. As can be seen, the use of teams in modern healthcare is extensive and common.

Recommendation 7: Teams

The use of effective teams in the U.S. health care depends on the following factors: the ability of the hospital to train active teams, the employee’s skills to form such teams, and organizational culture that either supports or omits the need for such teams. The need for good clinical leadership is emphasized by Blumenthal, Bernard, Bohnen, and Bohmer (2012), who indicate that effective teamwork is only possible when a good clinical leader is present. A good clinical leader demonstrates “team leadership skills, including understanding how to harness a team’s collective skills and resources to produce clinical care that is superior to what each team member could provide individually” (Blumenthal et al., 2012, p. 514). There is a lack of frontline clinical nurses and leaders, and those present remain underrecognized.

Teams and Patient Care

The use of teams requires significant changes in organizational culture, as well as understanding and commitment among team participants. Effective communication is a valuable tool in making teamwork more efficient, but it is difficult to achieve (Markova, Mateo, & Roth, 2012).

The positive influence of teams on patient care is discussed by Holmes, Rich, Zoghbi, and Mack (2013) who point out that in stressful situations or when working with diagnoses that suggest different interventions, the use of teams is justified as it helps achieve the most optimal and suitable decision. The context of diagnoses might vary and the establishment of a team consisting of different professionals who can use their experience “to fully inform the patient and family about the risks/benefits ratio of any specific […] recommendation” (Holmes et al., 2013, p. 905). Therefore, the quality care of patients by teams is possible with the presence of skilled professionals who can communicate effectively.

Effect of Recommendation 7

The overall effect of the recommendation on the nursing practice would be positive. Processes based on best practices would result in better patient outcomes, fewer medical errors, and overall increased quality of nursing care. The use of teams would decrease burnout among nurses, and coordination of care would help avoid misunderstandings between the hospital staff and resulting mistakes. Performance and outcome measurement would support the identification of best practices and employees who use them, thus recognizing their contribution. The suggested series of workshops would demand investments but could positively influence nursing care (Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, 2001).

Lessons about safety practices and evidence-based approaches to patient care would make nursing care more quality, also resulting in increased satisfaction of nurses and the recognition of their input and devotedness.

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Babiker, A., El Husseini, M., Al Nemri, A., Al Frayh, A., Al Juryyan, N., Faki, M. O., & Al Zamil, F. (2014). Health care professional development: Working as a team to improve patient care. Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics, 14(2), 9-16.

Blumenthal, D. M., Bernard, K., Bohnen, J., & Bohmer, R. (2012). Addressing the leadership gap in medicine: Residents’ need for systematic leadership development training. Academic Medicine, 87(4), 513-522.

Committee on Quality of Health Care in America. (2001). Crossing the quality chasm. A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.

Holmes, D. R., Rich, J. B., Zoghbi, W. A., & Mack, M. J. (2013). The heart team of cardiovascular care. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 61(9), 903-907.

Markova, T., Mateo, M., & Roth, L. M. (2012). Implementing teams in a patient-centered medical home residency practice: Lessons learned. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 25(2), 224-231.

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