Once teams have developed clear structures, they need to maintain explicit processes through agreed and formal
systems of communication and co-ordination. Consistent education and support for team building and
development should be accessible for all healthcare workers. When all team members are cohesive, make
decisions jointly and manage conflict, the team is more effective. Both individuals and the team need regular
feedback and recognition of their progress towards the team’s goals.
Finally, there is a need to build and maintain effective teams to maximise the specialist skills of healthcare
professionals in meeting complex patient needs. Team development and performance can be promoted through
education if there is knowledge of the most important characteristics of teamwork in healthcare settings. Patient
care will ultimately be enhanced through the co-ordinated efforts of effective healthcare teams.
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Characteristics of effective teams: a literature review