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Team Building in Healthcare: Methods & Impact

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  • 0:03 Teams in Healthcare
  • 0:38 Leading a Team
  • 1:46 Selecting a Team
  • 2:44 Sustaining Teams
  • 4:39 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Maya Shapland

Maya has worked in the clinical, education, and management sections of healthcare for over 25 years and holds bachelor's degree in Speech and associate degree in Nursing.

Healthcare leaders are tasked with constructing the most successful teams to meet today's challenges. This lesson investigates team building from the top down through the organization, with tips for choosing and maintaining healthy teams.

Teams in Healthcare

Without a doubt, Rebecca could not successfully lead from her position all by herself. As the nursing administrator in a rural hospital that employs 300 personnel, she has developed a team of talented individuals to assist her and the staff to become top performers in quality and lean management principles. Together, Rebecca and her team focus on improving care delivered and reducing cost and waste. They're using teamwork, a cohesive partnership to accomplish goals, complete projects, and strengthen professional relationships for the health of the organization.

Leading a Team

Rebecca has many qualities that have helped the hospital become recognized as the regional leader in healthcare delivery and as a valuable employer. Learning to lead a team toward excellence has helped Rebecca develop herself as well. Here are some of the important qualities that she and other leaders must cultivate to build successful teams:

  • Leaders with the power to influence are able to support and protect their teams, allowing them to grow

  • Those with strong leadership skills attract respect

  • Having approachability invites team members to engage with their team leader

  • Having emotional stability means that a leader will be best able to handle crises in healthcare, such as disasters and surges in patient load

  • Leaders that are able to delegate well allows them to let go and allows their team members to thrive

  • Self-awareness is important for high-functioning leaders, as is integrity

  • Finally, a leader with innovation will encourage new ideas, new concepts, and new solutions

Also, as with any team, conflicts arise often and Rebecca has learned the fine art of listening and responding with respect to all involved. This creates safety for her teams to manage conflict.

Selecting a Team

Healthcare is a complex system that requires teamwork to advance at the fast pace that is now a part of everyday life in facilities across the nation. Beginning with those who are at the center of the healthcare team - the patients and families - leadership can begin to build a productive and compassionate team of leaders to accomplish this vision.

Rebecca has recruited a team of top leaders with education and experience to lead with her. Here are a few of the qualifications she required in the applicants:

  • Did the candidate possess the knowledge and skills to perform the tasks assigned?

  • Could this applicant lead others within the vision of the team leader?

  • Are they a strong communicator, displaying clarity, compassion, direction, and affirmation?

  • Could this person work well with others by handling conflict, affirming others, and sharing solutions while remaining flexible?

  • Is healthy diversity possible with this person on the team?

  • Would this person's personality fit with the overall team chemistry?

Sustaining Teams

Rebecca has challenged her team to develop tools to lead with excellence. Sustaining a successful team in healthcare requires a commitment to working with people from all walks of life and with many abilities to be brought out for their success and the organization's success. Teamwork can be enhanced by incorporating these simple practices into the process of working together.

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