News and Commentary Exploring the Foundation of Team-Based Care

Last week, an Institute of Medicine (IOM) working group—comprised of a patient advocate, physician, registered nurse, physician assistant, social worker and pharmacist—shared insights from their discussions about the foundations of team-based healthcare in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The article, “Challenges at the Intersection of Team-Based and Patient-Centered Health Care: Insights From an IOM Working Group,” outlines the shared values and principles defined by the working group to guide high-functioning healthcare teams that provide patient-centered care. These values and principles were informed by the work of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative, which has defined core competencies and learning objectives for collaborative practice. The Macy Foundation has supported the dissemination and implementation of this work.

One of the challenges the working group discussed was how to train health professionals for teamwork. While great strides have been made in the classroom, where interprofessional education is on the rise, “today’s practitioners must also develop skills and adopt emerging tools that promote teamwork and shared decision making; otherwise, classroom efforts will be foiled when learners enter the clinical environment,” say the authors.

This sentiment reflects one of the core themes that emerged at our Conference on Interprofessional Education, held earlier this year. Recent advances in interprofessional education have been driven by the increasing recognition and understanding that health care delivered by well-functioning teams leads to better outcomes. Yet we haven’t seen that same pace of reform in practice settings.

Interprofessional education will only continue to grow. We need to make sure team-based learning expands in the workplace and accelerate the adoption of team-based care in health care institutions across the country, so that students who are learning how to work in teams can actually practice in teams once they enter the healthcare workforce.

As the IOM working group notes, “the shift to team-based care—including developing skills to facilitate participation of patients and families—is not just a task for the clinicians of tomorrow.”

From the article:
Values and Principals of High Functioning Teams

Shared values:
• Honesty
• Discipline
• Creativity
• Humility
• Curiosity

Shared Principles:
• Clear Roles
• Mutual Trust
• Effective Communication
• Shared Goals
• Measurable Processes & Outcomes

Read more on Macy’s interprofessional education initiative.

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