Illusions of team working in health care

West, Michael and Lyubovnikova, Joanne (2013) Illusions of team working in health care. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 27 (1). pp. 134-142.

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Abstract

Purpose – The ubiquity and value of teams in healthcare are well acknowledged. However, in practice, healthcare teams vary dramatically in their structures and effectiveness in ways that can damage team processes and patient outcomes. The aim of this paper is to highlight these characteristics and to extrapolate several important aspects of teamwork that have a powerful impact on team effectiveness across healthcare contexts. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws upon the literature from health services management and organisational behaviour to provide an overview of the current science of healthcare teams. Findings – Underpinned by the input-process-output framework of team effectiveness, team composition, team task, and organisational support are viewed as critical inputs that influence key team processes including team objectives, leadership and reflexivity, which in turn impact staff and patient outcomes. Team training interventions and care pathways can facilitate more effective interdisciplinary teamwork. Originality/value – The paper argues that the prevalence of the term “team” in healthcare makes the synthesis and advancement of the scientific understanding of healthcare teams a challenge. Future research therefore needs to better define the fundamental characteristics of teams in studies in order to ensure that findings based on real teams, rather than pseudo-like groups, are accumulated.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Health Organization and Management
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/aacsb/disciplinebasedresearch
Subjects:
ID Code:
62857
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Mar 2013 11:59
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
18 Nov 2020 12:01