An example in Unit 6 Importance of Teamwork in HSC Assignment can be given of the research conducted by Macy and Izumi (1993) in which nearly 131 studies related with organizational changes were analyzed by these researchers in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these studies. They came to the conclusion that the most significant impact was caused by the interventions on the performance of the organizations were the interventions that were introduced at the team level. These initiatives also played a significant role in reducing absenteeism among the employee and employer turnover in comparison with other interventions. These findings reveal that significantly positive effects can be achieved by the organizations if they introduced team oriented practices in their working. Similarly, there has been one would research in which it was found that out of the 700 establishments that were studied for the purpose of this research, it was found that in case of organizations where teamwork has been developed significantly, there has been much more efficiency in the operations of these organizations as against the organizations where teamwork was not used to a large extent. Similarly there was another which also arrived at similar conclusions. This study evaluated the results of a number of surveys related with organizational practices and it also examined nearly 185 case studies that were dealing with innovative practices. According to the findings of this study, it was revealed that substantial evidence can be found which supported the fact that team working can significantly contribute in improving the effectiveness of the organizations, particularly by increasing the efficiency and quality (Bhugra, Bridges and Thompson, 1995).
A number of policy documents of the NHS are present in which the importance of teamwork in context of healthcare provision has been stressed upon. In this regard it is said that in order to achieve the most effective and best results, it is important that the health care professionals start to work jointly and learn together and in this way, these professionals are also jointly involved in clinical evaluation of the results achieved by them. Similarly, in this regard it can also be pointed out that only a few studies have been conducted so far that evaluated the positive impact of multidisciplinary teams in case of healthcare. At the same time, there are a number of difficulties that are present in making the comparison between the evaluation studies, including the reasons like different objectives and patterns present in organizations, the variations present in culture and services provided by the organization and the fact that the studies also control other parallel changes that take place in providing these services. In context of the provision of healthcare services, it has been seen that the introduction of multidisciplinary teams can significantly reduce the time as well as cost of hospitalization, at the same time it can also increase patient satisfaction, improve the delivery of service and in this way, increase staff motivation also.
In some studies, it has been pointed out that the teams that are working in primary physician care but compared and the studies found that the rate of hospitalization was significantly lower than using primary healthcare teams and in the same way; the physician visits were also reduced. Similarly, in such a case, it was easier to maintain functions for elderly patients suffering from chronic illness or functional deficits. Another finding of these studies was that team working also helped in considerable cost saving which was the result of reduced hospitalization and in this way this reduction in cost offset the cost that was elated with the establishment of teams and also their regular visits to the homes of the patients. In this way, a number of studies have arrived at the conclusion that the families who are visited by primary healthcare teams witnessed less cases of hospitalization and also lesser operations, reduce visits to the physicians and at the same time, these families visited physicians more for the purpose of health supervision. A somewhat similar pattern was witnessed in case of the terminally ill patients as the increase in the use of home care services allowed these patients to offset these costs by the savings made in terms of hospital costs (Vincent, Neale and Woloshynowych, 2001).
The studies also found that same nature of benefits were also produced for the chronically ill and elderly patients with the help of case management system that focused on teams. In this way, it can be said that by adopting the team approach, a significant reduction can be experienced in the overall healthcare expenditure as against the case of individual case management system.
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Improved delivery of services: it has also been seen that teams are capable of providing better treatment and outcomes for patients. For example, several nurses from the UK have stated that joint working parents in reducing duplication, and allows them to use specialist skills in more cost-effective way and at the same time it also allowed them to streamline patient care. An analysis of the record of general practitioners has also revealed that a considerable increase in overall patient contacts can be achieved with the help of their teams. Similarly, it also helped in reducing emergency visits which can be attributed to better accessibility to healthcare and continuous care that is offered by the teams (Lingard et al., 2004).
Better access to home care along with the enhanced patient satisfaction was achieved by obesity and care. The result was that the patients as well as the caregivers over the members of teams expressed increased satisfaction as a result of continuous and comprehensive care. This increase in satisfaction was also seen among the patients who accessed the primary healthcare teams as they had lesser symptoms, along with an increase in their social activities and in this way, these patients achieve some progress in their overall health. It has been found that these changes were more noticeable when the outcomes were compared with the patients who only accessed a physician.
It is also believed that the working plays an important role in improving the motivation of the staff. Therefore the effectiveness of teamwork can be said to be associated with job satisfaction and it also has a positive impact on the mental health of the members. In this regard, it has been suggested by asserting that the patients of primary healthcare teams showed lesser rate of hospitalization and this fact was seen particularly in cases where the individual members of the team were more satisfied (Makary, et al., 2006).
The working also allows the promotion of innovation in the organization including the organizations from the healthcare sector. Therefore, for the purpose of encouraging innovation, the policymakers as well as the practitioners consider the factors that have an impact on innovation in this sector. A number of input and process variables can be considered in this regard that predict innovation in the teams. For example, the overall level of innovation can be predicted by the team processes while number of innovative team members can be used to predict the list of innovations that have been introduced in a team. It also needs to be seen in such cases is what are the means which can be used to realize the benefits that can be provided by teamwork in the field of healthcare. For example, such benefits can be realized with the help of the composition of the teamwork and also by introducing effective team processes like better communication, problem solving and decision-making (Flin, O’Connor and Mearns, 2002).
There is a widely held perception according to which the heterogeneity of skills present in the teams that perform intricate tasks is good for the effectiveness of these teams. This diversity of knowledge and skills means that various knowledge perspectives will be introduced by different members of the team that are required for finding original solutions to the problems faced by the teams. However, the teams that have different attributes related to the task are generally also different regarding individual attributes. The result of this difference is that it can result in prejudice and stereo types which can cause internal conflict in the team and therefore, adversely impact the outcomes and processes of the team.
It is widely believed that the communication within the team is significantly impacted by factors like gender. For example while the male members of the team are more assertive in case of a confrontation or in public situations, there is also a difference regarding the communication expectations of the men and women. Due to the sex stereotypes, while it is believed that woman engage in submissive and oppressive communication, men are expected to be active and controlling while communicating. This in turn influences the perception of female members of the team and also the willingness of these numbers to become a part of team communication. Such considerations are important for the teams working in the field of health care because while these teams are dominated by women, the higher positions are generally held by the men (Borrill and West, 1998).
It is also imperative that there should be a proper mix of roles in the teams and such roles should also be defined clearly. Sometimes, the independent role played by the doctors and nurses in the team have been retained in the team and different members interacted with the people under different situations including the home visits by these members and they also complimented each other with their individual competencies. It can also recommended in this regard that the mental models of the team can also influence the decision-making process of the team. Similarly it also influences different aspects of decision-making like defining the problem, evaluating the alternatives and the speed and flexibility in implementing these decisions. As a result, generally the teams that have negative affective tone are also more rigid when it comes to decision-making.
The effective decision making process influences the performance of the team significantly. It has been seen by several studies conducted in this regard that participative decision-making has several positive benefits for the healthcare teams. In the same way, it has been seen that the members of teams that perform effectively also have the capability to participate in all decisions related work and these members also have greater desire to come to work and the level of job satisfaction is also high in case of these members. Such teams use the decision-making model that is known as the consensual model. This model provides that first of all the problem is clarified by the members, then they consider various alternatives that are available and consider the strength and weakness of each alternative and therefore the alternative that is most appropriate is selected by these members. After taking part in decision-making, it it has been reported by different members of teams that it has resulted in increasing their self-confidence and similarly, these members have also described that the positive interaction between various members increased as well as with their patients (Cohen and Bailey, 1997).
The research approach that has been adopted in case of any research needs to consider the research specifications. In view of the research specifications for the present study, that have been mentioned above, in the present case, it is clear that there should be primary as well as secondary study.
There is an improvement in the problem-solving abilities of the team when its members evaluate their descriptions of a situation with a view to confirm that they are going to solve the right problem. But in case of the teams whose members are not able to properly diagnose the problem or are not quick to find these problems are generally ineffective. As a result, it can be said that if the problems are attributed by its members to the wrong cause or if the potential results of these problems are not communicated effectively, it can have a negative impact on the performance of the team. As a result, particularly in case of teams involved in comprehensive scanning are generally capable of performing better as against the teams where the members are not quick to identify the problems. The diverse opinions of all the members of the team should be excluded openly because it is also related with the effectiveness of the team. Similarly, the cognitive stimulation can also result in producing innovative ideas. As a result, it is possible to improve the effectiveness of the team if the members are encouraged to become “problem minded” in place of becoming “solution minded”. In the same way, it is possible to improve the efficiency of the team when they question the approach that has been adopted by them or consider various aspects of the problems present before them. Similarly, additional process discussions can also help in increasing the quality of team performance. Therefore when different solutions can be discovered by a team for a particular problem or the problem-solving strategies can be combined; it results in enhancing the productivity of the team. In case of the teams that have to make complex decisions, planning can also help in increasing the team performance. But the identification of a problem is more difficult when uncertain environment is faced by the team. As a result, generally be seen that the inefficient teams try to hide, deny or distort the presence of these problems. Sometimes, the team members are not encouraged to identify the problems because the problems are considered by these teams as a source of conflict or even as a threat for the morale of the team members (Cohen and Bailey, 1997).
Limitations of the Study
As is the case with all studies, the present study also has certain limitations. For example, in case of the present study, primary and secondary research needs to be conducted. However it also needs to be noted in this regard that both these research approaches have different limitations and as a result, the present research also faces these limitations. Due to the reason that in case of this type of research, the inputs are taken from different studies conducted in the past regarding the same or similar topic, it is possible in some cases that the research may suffer from a lack of validity of data and also from the lack of relevance of the data.
In this way, the existing literature in this regard reveals that some success has been achieved related with the factors that influence the ability of the members to work effectively as a part of the team. However, in the field of healthcare, it cannot be said that significant process has been made in this regard and only a few studies have been conducted till now. The progress has also been restricted due to the additional difficulties related with operationalizing the effectiveness concept. Similarly the teams are working in the field of primary care, secondary care or in the field of community mental health. At the same time, teams are also present in health-care organizations. As a result, in organizational context also, the interaction taking place with the surroundings also impacts the performance of the teams. At the same time, the task that has to be performed by the team has an impact on team processes and also on the effectiveness of the team.
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In the end can be said that patient care is directly influenced by effective interaction and collaboration. As a result it becomes significant to adopt collaborative teamwork. During the last few decades as a result of modernization of healthcare, a shift can be seen in favor of team-based model of the delivery of healthcare. Similarly it can also be seen that in effective teamwork, particularly in case of healthcare can result in several negative incidents dealing with patient care. On the other hand, effective teams are able to produce more positive outcomes. Therefore with a view to achieve effective delivery of healthcare, coordinated efforts should be made by the individuals who come from various disciplines of healthcare. In the same way, effective healthcare also needs that of concerted and coordinated activities should be made by different people coming from various disciplines. At the same time, teamwork should also allow the members of the team to develop and promote effective inter-professional communication.
Some challenges are also related with inter-professional teams, particularly working in the delivery of healthcare. Among these challenges, one challenges related with the requirement of clear understanding regarding the professional identity of all the members of the team and the role they are likely to play in the team. In the same way, it is also possible that the perception held by the members regarding their professional identity and the assumptions regarding the professional identity of other members of the team may not be the same. It is also requiring professional settings that the individuals have the capability required for adjusting their own practice in such a way so that a particular patient outcome becomes achievable. As compared to it, the invalid assumptions may cause a breakdown in the team and the communication skills taking place within the team which may act as a barrier in the delivery of effective healthcare.
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