Implementing potentially better practices for multidisciplinary team building: creating a neonatal intensive care unit culture of collaboration

Pediatrics. 2003 Apr;111(4 Pt 2):e482-8.


Objective: Part of the process of deriving and refining the CARE (communication, accountability, respect, empowerment) focus group's potentially better practices (PBPs) for multidisciplinary teamwork was to evaluate and experience the PBPs through implementation.

Methods: The 4 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in the CARE focus group each worked with implementation of the PBPs. The choice of initial PBP and method of implementation was left up to each NICU's core team.

Results: The experience of each of the PBPs that is reported was selected from only 1 of the NICUs. These are summarized and described in a plan-do-study-act type of format.

Conclusions: There was no ideal PBP with which to start. The intertwined nature of all of the PBPs provided additional opportunities to implement other PBPs. A change seemed to be a matter first of vocabulary, then of tentative acceptance, followed by gradual integration into the culture. Change was facilitated when there was acknowledgment of a need to do things differently by the NICU leadership. Although the validity of the PBPs and their importance in cultural change have yet to be confirmed, once there was a persisting intent to change, the makeup of the NICU culture moved to embrace change as part of its culture.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking*
  • Communication
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Health Plan Implementation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / standards
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Total Quality Management / methods*
  • United States