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Effectiveness of Team Approach in Health Care: Some Research Evidence

Tesfamicael Ghebrehiwet


Team approach in health care settings is widely recognized as an important factor in providing quality patient care. This approach is supported by a growing  research evidence that  demonstrates team functioning is associated with better patient outcomes, cost savings, reduced hospitalisation , improved service provision, and enhanced patient and staff satisfaction.  Team approach also helps health professionals with diverse skills to view clients and their families as whole persons, and is compatible with person-centered medicine.  

The research evidence suggests that these benefits occur because well-functioning teams make good decisions, cope effectively with complex tasks, and are able to coordinate their interventions and expertise. However, despite the growing awareness of potential benefits, many heath care organizations lack effective teamwork, with negative consequences on patient outcomes. The barriers to team approach have been attributed to several factors including professional hierarchy, frequent changes in caregivers due to shift-work and patient transfers that make coordination and teamwork complicated.

The paper  provides a highlight of research on team approach to health care using indicators of patient outcomes; cost savings and patient and provider satisfactions. 


team approach, health team, team effectiveness, health care, care outcomes, health care organisation.

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