The Benefits of Working as a Team in Health Care

By focusing on collaborative care, health care professionals can combine their skills and focus on improving the lives of patients as well as they possibly can.

As a health care professional, it’s important to shape yourself into a hard-working, passionate individual who’s willing to do whatever it takes to deliver the best quality care to patients. In a health care setting, a strong team of individuals can achieve more together than any single person could on his or her own. The combination of skills and knowledge can lead a practice or hospital to success. Teamwork in health care is critical for delivering treatment and safety in a timely manner. And communication and interpersonal skills are the driving forces of any outstanding team.

Find a workplace that supports teamwork and constant communication, and the result could be higher patient satisfaction and the lower malpractice claims, according to the Pathways for Patient Safety, an initiative by the Health Research & Education Trust, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and the Medical Group Management Association Center for Research. Let’s delve deeper into the benefits of working with a strong team in health care, and how you can build or revive a successful team in the workplace.

The benefits of working as a team in health care

By focusing on collaborative care, health care professionals can combine their skills and focus on improving the lives of patients as well as they possibly can. Linda Cassidy, MSN, MEd, RN, CCNS and clinical practice specialist at the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses told the American Nurses Association this strategy strives to provide the best care for patients.

“Collaborative health care is a committed partnership that strives for excellence in patient care and outcomes,” she said. “Healthcare has become increasingly complex. Effective collaborative healthcare is synergistic, efficient and contributes to care that encourages joint participation of all team members with patients and families.”

This type of care focuses on highlighting the expertise of all contributing staff members, while providing recognition to them as well. Positive reinforcement boosts confidence in the workplace, which can ultimately impact the atmosphere.

It’s critical for anyone in health care settings to understand that creating a team of smart individuals can only be so advantageous. A group of people who are willing to make decisions, solve problems, generate ideas and execute tasks together will be incredibly successful. A team of individuals who can modify, combine and apply greater knowledge will be able to better determine diagnoses, properly conduct procedures and develop concrete plans of action, according to research published in the AMA Journal of Ethics titled “Teamwork in Health Care: Maximizing Collective Intelligence via Inclusive Collaboration and Open Communication.”

By working with a group of like-minded individuals who seek the same goals as you, you’ll be more likely to influence each other and make certain you’re all delivering care properly, without leaving any room for error. For example, the Joint Commission on National Patient Safety implemented double-checking patients’ state of health before giving out medications and performing procedures across the board. In the 2013 report, they found that this method of encouraging teamwork prevented medical errors and increased patient satisfaction.

A healthy and happy work environment is full of engaged individuals who are willing to join forces and provide the best quality work during any given shift. The better the work environment, the more likely your team can please the patients and back up a positive reputation in your health care setting.

By working with a group of like-minded individuals who seek the same goals as you, you'll be more likely to influence each other and make certain you're all delivering care properly, without leaving any room for error.

The increased need for interdisciplinary teamwork

A collaborative study, titled “Ten principles of good interdisciplinary team work” lead by Susan A. Nancarrow of Southern Cross University in Australia, defined interdisciplinary teamwork as a complex process of staff members working together to combine their expertise, knowledge and skills to deliver top notch care successful. The researchers believe the need for teamwork is increasing for multiple reasons:

  • The aging population is growing; the occurrence of patients with chronic conditions is going to rise and so will the demand for collaborative care.
  • An increased need for specialization, the complex effort of multiple health care providers can meet these needs.
  • The emphasis on development of shared learning in the health care workplace.
  • To continue providing quality improvement at a continuous rate.

By pushing the need for teamwork across the board now, hospital and practice settings can positively impact patients and staff workers across the nation.

Building a successful team in the workplace

Whether you’re training to pursue a management position, such a health care administrator, or you’re simply ready to improve your teamwork skills as a nurse, learning to work well with a group of individuals is the key to success in health care. But before you can move mountains in your workplace, you must understand how to work with others and maintain a healthy team relationship with your colleagues. Consider the following behaviors that define a successful team member, and channel these competencies as you move forward as a health care professional:
- Identify a concrete leader who’s willing to establish the direction of the team, all while encouraging team members along the way.
- Develop a set of values that each member is willing to constantly practice.
- Create a positive atmosphere that promotes team culture.
- Constantly reach out to patients for feedback, and find ways to keep making improvements based on these comments and concerns.
- Collaborate on a daily basis by mixing your skills and knowledge to provide the best quality care possible.
- Recognize each other on a normal basis with rewards.
- Open the opportunity for continued education and career development with annual trainings.

How to maintain a positive working environment

Establishing a shift in workplace behavior and attitude is only beneficial if it lasts. To maintain the positivity and continue focusing on teamwork, Nursing Times suggested you consider the following:

- Develop team objectives – All team members should be working with a common purpose. Make certain everyone is on the same page at all times.
- Make quality communication a top priority – Face-to-face communication skills should always be top notch, but keeping in touch via social media and your medical technology database should be successful as well. Team members should be encouraged to make effective use of the digital outlets at their disposal.
- Focus on trust – Team members should feel comfortable opening up to each other while they’re on and off the clock. A team is most productive when openness and trust is encouraged. Work on strategies that will create a comfortable environment for all staff.
- Give team building constant attention – A successful team is one that’s maintained on a regular basis. Team building should always be a top priority in the workplace.

Taking the next step in your nursing career

By furthering your studies in nursing, you can open up a whole new world of opportunities to use your skills and work with a successful team in your industry. By pursuing your Master of Science in Nursing at the University of San Francisco, you can acquire new knowledge as a health care professional and become an important asset that any working team in your industry would be lucky to obtain. The program can also teach you the fundamentals of teamwork and collaborative care, and give you a better understanding of how working with others will benefit your patients in the future. If you’re a medical professional who’s ready to make a positive impact in the health care environment, consider applying for an MSN program today.


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One Response to “The Benefits of Working as a Team in Health Care”

  1. […] Nurses, historically, spend more time with patients than any other caregiver or healthcare professional. That would seem to put nurses ahead of their peers in terms of opportunity for and experience with communicating, reaching patients, and finding ways to improve compliance. That would also seem to endorse the idea that nurses should have more autonomy and opportunity to practice at the full scope of their licensure. But the point of this isn’t to say that nurses are better at serving patients, or that the debate of the merits of different providers should be ended; only that, going forward, the providers who achieve patient compliance are the ones who will succeed in the 21st century. That kind of success will come not from MDs or LPNs, but from a combination of interpersonal skills, an ability to leverage technology, an awareness of factors beyond the clinical (especially financial), and most importantly of all, a willingness to collaborate. […]

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