Recognizing the importance of teamwork in hospitals, senior leadership from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), and the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) established the High Performance Teams and the Hospital of the Future project. This collaborative learning effort aims to redesign care delivery to provide optimal value to hospitalized patients. With input from members of this initiative, we prepared this report which reviews the literature related to teamwork in hospitals. Teamwork is critically important to provide safe and effective hospital care. Hospitals with high teamwork ratings experience higher patient satisfaction, higher nurse retention, and lower hospital costs. Elements of effective teamwork have been defined and provide a framework for assessment and improvement efforts in hospitals. Measurement of teamwork is essential to understand baseline performance, and to demonstrate the utility of resources invested to enhance it and the subsequent impact on patient care. Interventions designed to improve teamwork in hospitals include localization of physicians, daily goals of care forms and checklists, teamwork training, and interdisciplinary rounds. Though additional research is needed to evaluate the impact on patient outcomes, these interventions consistently result in improved teamwork knowledge, ratings of teamwork climate, and better understanding of patients' plans of care. The optimal approach is implementation of a combination of interventions, with adaptations to fit unique clinical settings and local culture.
Copyright © 2011 Society of Hospital Medicine.