Effective Teamwork: A Key to Achieving Extraordinary Goals in Healthcare Organizations

“A successful team is a group of ordinary people working towards extraordinary goals.” – Unknown

Teamwork is essential for achieving set goals successfully. It involves the collaborative effort of a group to achieve a common goal or complete a task in the most effective and efficient way. Studies have shown that successful inter-professional collaboration helps hospitals increase patient satisfaction, improve patient outcomes, reduce medical errors, expedite treatment, reduce inefficiencies and costs, and improve staff relationships and job satisfaction.

Having worked for more than a decade in different healthcare organizations in my country of origin, Nepal, including various private, semi-government, world-class international hospitals, and government hospitals, I can say that the common goal of every healthcare organization is to improve clinical outcomes and provide quality patient care.

In my current workplace, whether in outpatient settings or in an emergency, when a patient approaches the hospital, the associates treat them like guests and family members, providing the best hospitality and care. Undoubtedly, the effective teamwork of my workplace ensures quality care and patient satisfaction.

In my experience, all members of the team, from leadership, registration, administration, physicians, surgeons, specialists, consultants, house supervisors, unit managers, vascular access nurses, charge nurses, infection control, nurse educators, dietitians, RNs, LVNs, aides, environmental services, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, case managers, radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, engineering, technician, unit secretary, human resources, central supply, laundry, quality control, and other units, are giving consistent effort and working diligently to reach the common goal of providing exceptional care to the patient. In my observation, all team members are willing to learn, share their expertise, contribute ideas, and respectful to others.

One praiseworthy aspect I noticed is that the leadership, including the house supervisor and the unit managers, is continuously working diligently and asking for feedback and suggestions from the employees consistently at least once a month to improve the existing service. The leadership truly appreciates the innovative ideas that are potentially amplifying the quality care and patient’s safety. They also reward the employee who can share the most creative and best ideas and suggestions, and ultimately they implement the ideas into action. In addition, the system of receiving patient feedback and reviews on the recent experience of the service from the patient has a positive impact on overall performance and quality care.

In my workplace, all team members are contributing equally, with mutual trust among team members, self-motivation within the team, shared responsibility, effective communication, and participation from all members. Considering communication as an integral part of teamwork, each team member in each department is provided with a special communication device named Vocera. In this device, each associate has to log in at the beginning of their shift and keep it on and functional throughout the shift. After giving the handoff reports to the next shift, they have to log out and hand over the device to the employee of the upcoming shift. This kind of technology ensures that communication is clear and timely to make accurate diagnoses, ensure that treatments are appropriately provided, and ensure that patients understand their health status and needs.

One noteworthy thing is that team members can appreciate anyone within a team for compassionate care and service who has performed above and beyond. They can uplift the team spirits and high morale of their colleagues by writing a Shoutout mentioning the name of the colleague and the reason for appreciation on the unit notice board. Also, they can nominate team members for various awards and recognition for their excellent service.

In the nine months of my work experience at this facility, I have observed substantially improved individual and team performance, higher output, greater professional satisfaction, less stress, a safer workplace, increased peer support, and enhanced quality of care.

To promote effective teamwork in my workplace, every member of the team has continuously demonstrated mutual respect and harmony, as well as cultivated trust and accountability within the interdisciplinary team.

It is obvious that leadership and teamwork have a direct impact on an organization’s ability to carry out its mission. Moreover, the attributes of the leaders at my workplace, such as problem-solving skills, excellent communication skills, technical skills, integrity, critical thinking, innovative strategic planning and implementation skills, and interpersonal skills, have ensured that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal and mission. Because of the highly skilled, committed, and visionary leadership and the best teamwork among the dedicated and competent associates, my workplace has been awarded various prestigious awards, recognitions, and honors due to its excellence in service.

(Bijaya Deuja, works as a registered nurse at Shannon Medical Centre in San Angelo, Texas.)