Chapter 3 Leading Effective Teams

Learning Objectives

  • Identify roles of various health care professionals
  • Explore interprofessional communication strategies
  • Review team attributes that impact system outcomes

All health care providers must be prepared to work together in clinical practice with a common goal of building a safer, more effective, patient-centered health care system. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines interprofessional collaborative practice as multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds working together with patients, families, caregivers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care (World Health Organization, 2010).

Effective teamwork and communication have been proven to reduce medical errors, promote a safety culture, and improve patient outcomes (AHRQ, 2015). The importance of effective interprofessional collaboration has become even more important as nurses advocate to reduce health disparities related to social determinants of health (SDOH). In these efforts, nurses work with people from a variety of professions, such as physicians, social workers, educators, policy makers, attorneys, faith leaders, government employees, community advocates, and community members. Nurses must be prepared to effectively collaborate interprofessionally in a variety of health care settings (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2021). 

The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) has identified four core competencies for effective interprofessional collaborative practice. This chapter will review content related to these four core competencies and provide examples of effective teamwork in health systems.

The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) established standard core competencies for effective interprofessional collaborative practice. The competencies guide the education and practice of health professionals with the necessary knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes to collaboratively work together in providing client care. See Table 3.2 for a description of the four IPEC core competencies (Interprofessional Education Collaborative, n.d.). Each of these competencies will be further discussed in the following sections of this chapter.

Table 3.1 IPEC Core Competencies

Competency 1: Values/Ethics for Interprofessional Practice

Work with individuals of other professions to maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values.

Competency 2: Roles/Responsibilities 

Use the knowledge of one’s own role and those of other professions to appropriately assess and address the health care needs of patients and to promote and advance the health of populations.

Competency 3: Interprofessional Communication

Communicate with patients, families, communities, and professionals in health and other fields in a responsive and responsible manner that supports a team approach to the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease.

Competency 4: Teams and Teamwork

Apply relationship-building values and the principles of team dynamics to perform effectively in different team roles to plan, deliver, and evaluate patient/population-centered care and population health programs and policies that are safe, timely, efficient, effective, and equitable.

(Interprofessional Education Collaborative, n.d.)

Next: 3.1 Roles and Responsibilities of Health Care Professionals



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Leading Change in Health Systems: Strategies for RN-BSN Students Copyright © 2023 by Kathy Andresen DNP, MPH, RN, CNE is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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