5 Core Principles of Team-Based Healthcare

Participants from the Best Practices Innovation Collaborative of the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care have identified five core principles of effective team-based healthcare in a new report (pdf).

The authors of the report, called "Core Principles & Values of Effective Team-Based Health Care," defined team-based healthcare as at least two healthcare providers working collaboratively with patients and their caregivers to provide high-quality, coordinated care.

The report described the following five principles of team-based healthcare:

1. Shared goals. The team — including the patient and, where appropriate, family members or other support persons — works to establish shared goals that reflect patient and family priorities and that can be clearly articulated, understood and supported by all team members.

2. Clear roles. There are clear expectations for each team member's functions, responsibilities and accountabilities, which optimize the team's efficiency and often make it possible for the team to take advantage of division of labor, thereby accomplishing more than the sum of its parts.

3. Mutual trust. Team members earn each other's trust, creating strong norms of reciprocity and greater opportunities for shared achievement.

4. Effective communication. The team prioritizes and continuously refines its communication skills. It has consistent channels for candid and complete communication, which are accessed and used by all team members across all settings.

5. Measurable processes and outcomes.
The team agrees on and implements reliable and timely feedback on successes and failures in both the functioning of the team and achievement of the team's goals. These are used to track and improve performance immediately and over time.

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