7 ways physicians can lead a care team

Care team
The AMA has developed guidelines for doctors to provide strong leadership and guidance in care teams.

Health workers from across the spectrum may be involved in one patient’s care, so the American Medical Association is offering guidelines to make that collaboration easier and more effective.

The guidelines target physicians who are key members of a care team, according to an announcement from the AMA, and offer ways for doctors to provide strong leadership and guidance in those teams.

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“Physician-led collaborative care has been proven time and again as an effective, consultative approach to providing high-quality medical care,” AMA Board Member Kevin W. Williams said in the announcement.

“An effective team requires vision and direction of an effective leader and physicians are uniquely suited to serve as a clinical leader who will ensure that the team as a whole functions effectively and facilitates patient-centered decision-making.”

To assert strong leadership in a care team, the AMA says physicians should:

  • Understand the range of knowledge and skills between team members
  • Clearly delineate individual responsibilities
  • Listen and be open to insight and ideas from other team members
  • Use strong teamwork skills
  • Guide and encourage open discussion on both clinical and ethical issues and hear a diverse group of opinions
  • Make sure expectations are clear to ensure decision-making is transparent
  • Identify and handle potential barriers to team-based work

Care teams, according to the AMA, seek to provide patient-centered care and work in an environment of trust and respect. Open communication between all members is key, and responsibilities and accountability should be shared across the team. Team members should establish a common set of ethics to work with, according to the AMA.

The guidelines will be added to the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics.