Role of effective teamwork and communication in delivering safe, high-quality care

Mt Sinai J Med. 2011 Nov-Dec;78(6):820-6. doi: 10.1002/msj.20295.


Healthcare is delivered in an extraordinary complex environment. Despite highly skilled, dedicated clinicians, there are currently unacceptably high levels of communication failures and adverse events. Effective teamwork, in conjunction with reliable processes of care, is essential for the consistent delivery of high-quality care. Practical concepts and tools are provided that address the team behaviors of structured communication, effective assertion/critical language, psychological safety, situational awareness, and effective leadership. Examples of the mounting clinical evidence of improved patient outcomes and reduced harm resulting from effective teamwork training are cited.

MeSH terms

  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication*
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Culture
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient Safety / standards*
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*