Forming Interprofessional Teams and Clarifying Roles
The fourth chapter in a new book about interprofessional evidence-based practice teams and the development of an interprofessional scholar program.
Leaders developing an interprofessional evidence-based practice program need to give thoughtful consideration to the process of forming teams and promoting collaboration. Having clear criteria for selecting team members promotes transparency and helps team members understand their roles and needed contributions. An interprofessional evidence-based practice team philosophy promotes teamwork where everyone works to contribute to the project, learns, and teaches other team members. A team framework, such as TeamSTEPPS®, is useful in creating a multi-team system for the interprofessional evidence-based practice program. The teams not only include the interprofessional evidence-based practice teams, but also a coordinating program team with mentors and program coordinators, and an administrative team with program coordinators and healthcare and university sponsors. Team education for participants in the evidence-based practice program focuses on the four teachable team skills in TeamSTEPPS® related to leadership, communication, situation monitoring, and mutual support. Interprofessional teams often share leadership, where team members lead aspects of the EBP project that is within their expertise. Shared leadership occurs within a positive team environment when the team has a common purpose, social support for leadership, and coaching to improve team performance. Interprofessional evidence-based practice program coordinators and mentors facilitate the best leaders coming forward to lead at the right time for meeting project goals. Other interprofessional competencies essential for the interprofessional evidence-based practice program include team values and ethics, roles and responsibilities, and teamwork. Strategies that improve team performance include a team charter and a work plan that create shared mental models for goals, expectations, roles and responsibilities.
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