Meeting the complex needs of the health care team: identification of nurse-team communication practices perceived to enhance patient outcomes

Qual Health Res. 2010 Jan;20(1):15-28. doi: 10.1177/1049732309355289.


Nurses occupy a central position in today's increasingly collaborative health care teams that place a premium on quality patient care. In this study we examined critical team processes and identified specific nurse-team communication practices that were perceived by team members to enhance patient outcomes. Fifty patient-care team members were interviewed to uncover forms of nurse communication perceived to improve team performance. Using a grounded theory approach and constant comparative analysis, study findings reveal two critical processes nurses contribute to as the most central and consistent members of the health care team: ensuring quality decisions and promoting a synergistic team. Moreover, the findings reveal 15 specific nurse-team communication practices that comprise these processes, and thereby are theorized to improve patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Nursing Research / methods
  • Communication*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Group Processes
  • Hospital Administration*
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Nurses*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Quality of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Treatment Outcome