Coaching interprofessional health care improvement teams: the coachee, the coach and the leader perspectives

J Nurs Manag. 2014 May;22(4):452-64. doi: 10.1111/jonm.12068. Epub 2013 Jun 20.


Aim: To investigate health care improvement team coaching activities from the perspectives of coachees, coaches and unit leaders in two national improvement collaboratives.

Background: Despite numerous methods to improve health care, inconsistencies in success have been attributed to factors that include unengaged staff, absence of supportive improvement resources and organisational inertia.

Methods: Mixed methods sequential exploratory study design, including quantitative and qualitative data from interprofessional improvement teams who received team coaching. The coachees (n = 382), coaches (n = 9) and leaders (n = 30) completed three different data collection tools identifying coaching actions perceived to support improvement activities.

Results: Coachees, coaches and unit leaders in both collaboratives reported generally positive perceptions about team coaching. Four categories of coaching actions were perceived to support improvement work: context, relationships, helping and technical support.

Conclusions: All participants agreed that regardless of who the coach is, emphasis should include the four categories of team coaching actions.

Implications for nursing management: Leaders should reflect on their efforts to support improvement teams and consider the four categories of team coaching actions. A structured team coaching model that offers needed encouragement to keep the team energized, seems to support health care improvement.

Keywords: coaching; collaboratives; facilitation; health care quality improvement; interprofessional teams; leadership.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Leadership*
  • Patient Care Team* / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team* / standards
  • Quality Improvement* / organization & administration