Teambuilding breaks down walls in healthcare

Nurse Leader Insider, August 18, 2016

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Changes to hospital culture can mitigate tribalism and stereotyping in the workplace, according to a study published in the July issue of BMJ Open.

The study, conducted by Macquarie University’s Australian Institute of Health Innovation, found that professional cliques in healthcare are often a product of the organizational culture and structure, not inherent to the people involved. Divisions between physicians and nurse can be a major hindrance to achieving outcomes, and the team discovered that this is not the case outside of the healthcare setting.

Researchers found that grouping professionals into mixed teams (nurses, physicians, and healthcare professionals) to accomplish tasks proved effective and achieved better outcomes. Observers noted that teams worked well together outside of their normal structured environments, and did not exhibit any of the stereotypical behavior based on their professional background. The research team also said they could not tell who were the doctors, nurses, or healthcare professionals.

The study authors suggest interventions and new policies to improve teamwork between departments can reduce the tribalism in healthcare, and lead to better outcomes for the facility and its patients.

For tips on improving communication with physicians and teambuilding, check out these articles from the Strategies for Nurse Managers’ Reading Room:

Strategies for collaborative nurse-physician relationships

Leadership development: Teambuilding tips for nurse managers
Diffusing disruptive physician behavior
Physicians’ stance on nurse practitioners is dangerous

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