Health Care Essay

2397 Words Nov 7th, 2014 10 Pages

Organizational Leadership For Building Effective Health Care Teams
Stephen H. Taplin, MD, MPH1 Mary K. Foster, PhD2 Stephen M. Shortell, PhD3

The movement toward accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes will increase with implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA will therefore give further impetus to the growing importance of teams in health care. Teams typically involve 2 or more people embedded in a larger social system who differentiate their roles, share common goals, interact with each other, and perform tasks affecting others. Multiple team types fit within this definition, and they all need support from leadership to succeed. Teams have been invoked as a
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Creating effective teams demands the appropriate organizational environment.1-4 The information burden, task differentiation, and challenge of meeting the needs of patients provides a strong conceptual justification for teams, and there is evidence they can be effective.5,6 Even with explicit efforts to train teams, however, some groups form functional teams and some do not.3 Part of the reason for this variation is that organizations control factors affecting teamwork.5 Those organizations include primary, secondary, and tertiary care practices, managed care organizations, and potentially the accountable care organizations motivated by the ACA to link those practices. To achieve the high expectations for teams, we need to understand more about how leaders of health care organizations can create environments that support team success.7,3


Conflicts of interest: authors report none.


Stephen H. Taplin, MD, MPH Process of Care Research Branch Behavioral Research Program Division of Cancer Control and Population Science National Cancer Institute 9609 Medical Center Dr MSC 9761, 3E522 Bethesda, MD 20892

One of the challenges for leaders is that people discuss teams as if they were a single phenomenon when there are many types of teams. Teams typically are embedded in

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