Performance improvement: 4 ways hospitals can boost team-based care

As care models, treatments and technologies continue to evolve, a pair of hospital executives have devised several leadership strategies that help staff members at all levels work together to better accomplish their goals.

Terri Poe, chief nursing officer and senior associate vice president at University of Alabama Hospital, and Patricia Tietjen, vice president for Western Connecticut Health Network and Danbury Hospital, found that they shared similar methods of handling the various challenges at their facilities, according to an article from Hospitals & Health Networks.

Here are four of the strategies they suggest:

  • Unite on goals. The first step was getting leadership on board, Tietjen said, and once those executives were all at the table, the team could set goals to tackle major issues. Bringing together stakeholders from outside the C-suite, Tietjen added, was a significant hurdle, as they potentially had to drop other projects to become involved.

  • Establish accountability. In University of Alabama Hospital’s case, leaders were dealing with a significant influx of patient transfers, according to the article. The hospital created a position for a director of throughput to handle patient navigation, but Poe said that other team members had to work to accept the authority and accountability of the new leader.

  • Use “bed huddles.” Poe said each day, 80 staff members meet in a 600-square foot room to discuss the day’s issues, according HH&N. The meetings are brief--usually 10 minutes, she said--but they are hugely helpful in getting everyone in the team on the same page. Daily huddles can reduce preventable errors and promote reporting of such mistakes, FierceHealthcare previously reported. Tietjen said meetings like this must extend beyond merely clinicians to accomplish as much as possible.

  • Develop a clear communications strategy. At both hospitals, the article notes, the use of daily multidisciplinary rounds and compliance checklists have helped promote a culture of teamwork. A streamlined, simplified communications process can improve patient safety.

- read the HH&N article