A Significant part of daily human life consists of communication and teamwork within expansive situations and encounters. In the complex systems of healthcare, verbal and non-verbal exchanges between health professionals can determine unit operations as well as cost, quality, and safety of care. While there is no consensus on how institution leaders can adequately equip their employees with these critical skills, most agree that the criterion of success for the contemporary multidisciplinary healthcare environments necessitates sustained team effort and delegation of tasks. Effective communication and collaboration present a pragmatic opportunity for managers to enhance the delivery of care across various levels: patients, health professionals, teams, and the entire organization.
The Benefits of Good Communication and Functional Healthcare Teams
The establishment of successful communication and teams are the foundation of effective and safe care. Healthcare leaders across the world acknowledge that communication breakdown within the hospital environments is the number one factor that leads to poor patient outcomes (Meiring, 2016). Poor communication of medication doses, name, and timing between medical practitioners can, for instance, lead to severe medical errors or even death. Besides, emergency complexities, as well as the transition of care during shifts and between care areas, present risks of miscommunication, which can directly cause serious harm, inappropriate therapies, or treatment delays. Contrastingly, studies from Wagner et al. (2018) identify successful communication and teamwork as the yardstick for error-free care that guarantees the safety of patients, improves health outcomes, and enhance job satisfaction of healthcare workers. Establishing effective teams is, therefore, a viable strategy for delivering quality services and reducing post-treatment complications.
Additionally, functional teams create a resilient, engaging, and positive work environment. The complexity of today’s healthcare systems makes it impossible to place every patient under the care of specific health professional. The job description of most professionals, especially nurses, demands that one handles various time-consuming duties and take care of a large number of patients (Ryan, 2017). As such, workers can experience high levels of burnout, stress, and lack of organization. However, units with successful collaboration, communication, and delegation tend to have great clarity coupled with lower rates of illnesses and workplace injuries (Rosen et al., 2018). The careful management of interdependent teams reduces cases of workplace harassment and increases commitment due to the shared sense of ownership and appreciation of one’s roles and responsibilities.
Establishing Successful Communication, Teamwork, and Delegation
Building a culture of communication, collaboration, and delegation is a complex process that requires time, resources, people, and purpose. While there are numerous strategies on how institutional leaders can equip their workforce with the required competencies, all methods must encourage intentional listening, adaptive coordination, rapid learning, and raising one’s opinions even in instances where hierarchical norms persist. Meiring (2016) notes that equipping workers with soft skills is the foundation of establishing the culture of delegating tasks. Moreover, institutional managers must encourage team leaders to implement frequent briefings and debriefings that define the objectives of each task, roles of individual team members, and highlight the experienced challenges.
Furthermore, organization leaders must provide their workforce with training opportunities to improve communication, delegation, and teamwork skills. Most healthcare workers understand medical procedures but lack these competencies, which are vital in delivering care, clinical patient outcomes, and organizational success. Institutions should design their culture, policies, goals, and reward structures in a manner that encourages delegation and collaboration. Lastly, managers must sustain acquired skills through refresher courses and training as knowledge can quickly decay (Rosen et al., 2018). They should link policy and regulatory requirements to delegation and collaboration practices to improve performance in the short term and enhance sustainment in the longterm.
Interdisciplinary teamwork, effective communication, and delegation of tasks are critical factors in safe and quality delivery of care. As systems of healthcare become more specialized and complex, most organizations are adopting a multidisciplinary approach whereby health professionals must manage different patients suffering from multiple maladies. Therefore, ineffective coordination, communication, or suboptimal teamwork can cause serious healthcare issues, including medical errors and death. These soft work competencies create a salient and engaging work environment that enhances output, job satisfaction, and patient outcomes. However, building a culture of collaboration necessitates deliberate efforts by healthcare leaders, including sustained training and creating effective policies.
Meiring, A. (2016). To delegate or not to delegate. Professional Nursing Today [PDF], 20(4), pp. 37-39. Medpharm. Retrieved 7 June 2020, from http://file:///C:/Users/McBain/Downloads/891-Article%20Text-5085-1-10-20161208.pdf.
Rosen, M., DiazGranados, D., Dietz, A., Benishek, L., Thompson, D., Pronovost, P., & Weaver, S. (2018). Teamwork in healthcare: Key discoveries enabling safer, high-quality care. American Psychologist, 73(4), 433-450. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000298
Ryan, S. (2017). Promoting effective teamwork in the healthcare setting. Nursing Standard, 31(30), 52-60. https://doi.org/10.7748/ns.2017.e10726
Wagner, E., O’Connor, N., & Hasenau, S. (2018). Improving Patient Care Outcomes Through Better Delegation-Communication Between Nurses and Assistive Personnel. Journal Of Nursing Care Quality, 33(2), 187-193. https://doi.org/10.1097/ncq.0000000000000282