U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

National Diabetes Education Program

Team Development

High-performance teams share the following common characteristics:

  • Positive team environment
  • Collaborative problem-solving approach
  • Excellent leadership

A problem-solving approach can help make team meetings and communications effective. [6] (See AAFP resource Keys to High-Functioning Office Team.)

View a video that shows how to create the culture of teamwork by using the pre-clinic “huddle.”

View a video about the use of 30 minute weekly clinical team meetings with the staff of an internal medicine ambulatory care center.

See “How to sell staffers on change

Using a team development measure can help identify ways to improve teamwork. Such a tool can help teams build cohesiveness and clear communication processes as well as clarify roles and team goals. (See NCQA resources Team Based Care Implementation Guides and Guide to the Team Development Measure.)

Six team-building steps for effective team care [3]:

  • the commitment and support of organization leadership
  • the active participation of the patient and health care professional team members
  • ways to identify the patient population via an informa­tion tracking system
  • adequate resources
  • payment mechanisms for team care services
  • a coordinated communication system
  • documentation and evaluation of outcomes and adjustment of services as necessary

Regardless of the team structure and purpose, five important elements need attention for ongoing, success­ful team care [3]:

  • Promote patient satisfaction, quality of life, and self-management
  • Promote a community support network
  • Maintain team coordination and communication
  • Provide follow-up
  • Use health information technology