Crothall Healthcare Blog

How Team-based Care Saves Lives

Team-based care that includes support services can save lives, create a safer healing environment and improve clinical outcomes.

According to the American Hospital Association, the health care team extends beyond physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff. Holistically, a healthcare team includes administrators, quality improvement professionals, risk management, patient transportationenvironmental servicesfood and nutrition services, IT associates, and others.

Why a team-based care approach?

Team-based care – the practice of healthcare professionals across disciplines and in both clinical and non-clinical roles, working together as integrated teams – is in everyone’s best interest. From improved patient outcomes to reducing clinician burnout, a team-based approach is needed now more than ever in today’s increasingly complex healthcare system.

So while there’s no silver bullet to making the patient experience better, nor a switch that can flip a siloed healthcare system into one that is fully integrated and team-based in function, Compass One Healthcare’s Positive Impressions program is helping. We’ve invested $11 million annually in Positive Impressions, which has 200+ on-site Patient Experience Managers. These managers are cultivating team-based care type environments that are characterized by coordinated and coherent communication. As a result, safety improves, and clinicians rest assured knowing they’re working beside trustworthy and capable teammates.

What does team-based care look like?

To understand what team-based care looks like, consider Chenay’s story. When non-clinical caregivers like Chenay, a patient experience manager, feel comfortable communicating with nursing staff, they’re able to speak up to promote patient safety and prevent accidents.

While Chenay was caring for a patient, a nurse entered the room to check the patient’s vitals. The nurse shared the results with Chenay: their patient’s pulse and oxygen levels were very low. As Chenay continued caring for her patient, she paid special attention to detail and made sure to be acutely aware of her surroundings.

Chenay soon noticed the oxygen tubing had become disconnected from the flowmeter, restricting oxygen output and putting the patient in danger.

Because Chenay saw herself as part of a culture that is patient-centered and encourages team-based care, she knew she had a unique role to play in keeping her patient safe. On that particular day, Chenay’s role was a lifesaver.

Chenay wasted no time alerting the nursing staff, and together they resolved a potentially deadly situation.

To show their appreciation, the hospital staff recognized Chenay with the hospital’s Life Guard award, earned by associates who go above and beyond to promote patient safety.

What are the benefits of a team-based care approach?

When healthcare teams communicate effectively, irrespective of individual position, collaboration decreases the potential for error. However, when missteps do happen – like in Chenay’s story – it’s the trust teammates have in each other, to admit a mistake without fear of embarrassment or retaliation that is at the heart of successful teamwork. All of it takes humility, but the result is a safer and better healing environment for patients and improved clinical outcomes.

Contact Us to learn more about Crothall Healthcare, a Compass One Healthcare Company, and our services to support team-based care at your hospital.

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