In health care settings, individuals from different disciplines come
together to care for patients. Although these groups of health care personnel
are generally called teams, they need to earn true team status by demonstrating
teamwork. Developing health care teams requires attention to 2 central questions: who
is on the team and how do team members work together? This article chiefly
focuses on the second question. Cohesive health care teams have 5 key characteristics:
clear goals with measurable outcomes, clinical and administrative systems,
division of labor, training of all team members, and effective communication.
Two organizations are described that demonstrate these components: a private
primary care practice in Bangor, Me, and Kaiser Permanente's Georgia region
primary care sites. Research on patient care teams suggests that teams with
greater cohesiveness are associated with better clinical outcome measures
and higher patient satisfaction. In addition, medical settings in which physicians
and nonphysician professionals work together as teams can demonstrate improved
patient outcomes. A number of barriers to team formation exist, chiefly related
to the challenges of human relationships and personalities. Taking small steps
toward team development may improve the work environment in primary care practices.
Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more
Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features
Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)
Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours
Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.
Download citation file:
Web of Science® Times Cited: 188
Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.
More Listings atJAMACareerCenter.com >
All results at
and access these and other features:
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a link to reset your password.
Enter your username and email address. We'll send instructions on how to reset your password to the email address we have on record.
Athens and Shibboleth are access management services that provide single sign-on to protected resources. They replace the multiple user names and passwords necessary to access subscription-based content with a single user name and password that can be entered once per session. It operates independently of a user's location or IP address. If your institution uses Athens or Shibboleth authentication, please contact your site administrator to receive your user name and password.