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Journal cover: Team Performance Management

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Online from: 1995

Subject Area: Performance Management and Measurement

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Multidisciplinary teamwork is an important issue to healthcare professionals


Document Information:
Title:Multidisciplinary teamwork is an important issue to healthcare professionals
Author(s):Justin Bitter, (STGroup, Vught, The Netherlands and Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium), Elizabeth van Veen-Berkx, (STGroup, Vught, The Netherlands and Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium), Hein G. Gooszen, (STGroup, Vught, The Netherlands and Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium), Pierre van Amelsvoort, (STGroup, Vught, The Netherlands and Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium)
Citation:Justin Bitter, Elizabeth van Veen-Berkx, Hein G. Gooszen, Pierre van Amelsvoort, (2013) "Multidisciplinary teamwork is an important issue to healthcare professionals", Team Performance Management, Vol. 19 Iss: 5/6, pp.263 - 278
Keywords:Collaboration, Healthcare professionals, Medical facilities, Operating theatres, Socio-technical systems theory, Team performance, Team working, The Netherlands
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/TPM-11-2012-0041 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to describe the factors that contribute to understanding how collaboration improves performance in operating rooms (ORs) after introducing the concept of cross-functional OR scheduling teams.

Design/methodology/approach – The concept was investigated at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center (RUNMC) in The Netherlands and used on an innovative path based on socio-technical systems (STS) principles designed to address non-routine tasks, variety, interferences and errors related to OR scheduling, with the aim of increasing both staff productivity and patient safety. The effects of implementing preoperative cross-functional teams in the OR were compared qualitatively. The researcher observed all of the team meetings, available data and documentation, and 13 semi-structured interviews were performed with team members for collecting additional data.

Findings – In the literature, it was found that the theory of socio-technical systems and the fields of group dynamics and self-managing teams fit the OR setting. The author applied six elements of these theories (setting common goals, cohesion, openness, single-loop and double-loop learning, feedback, and control options) to the aspects found in the study. The qualitative findings revealed that high-performing teams were able to identify bottlenecks in order to improve continuity of care. The cross-functional teams used several performance indicators to gain insight into their own performance. Consequently, through collaboration, these teams were able to minimise interference and therefore learn. Cross-functional teams learned how to address interferences and improve their quality of service through improved collaboration and the improved use of control mechanisms.

Practical implications – This research highlights the importance of team-based approaches and the need to improve collaboration between healthcare professionals.

Originality/value – The paper confirms the value of implementing the socio-technical systems theory to improve collaboration between healthcare professionals. This case study is a valuable contribution, as it focuses on team-based organisation in preparing an OR schedule.



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