Teamwork Attitudes, Perceptions, and Experiential Patterns:
Background: Evidence indicates that lack of team cohesion and engagement can negatively affect team productivity, team members, the organization and ultimately patient outcomes. St Catherine University, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, and Benedictine Health Services are part of an inter-agency Interprofessional Evidence-based Clinical Scholar Program (IECSP) that bridges the gap between research and practice. IECSP coordinators identified that in some teams, cohesiveness and performance declined during project implementation and evaluation.
Purpose: The purpose of this mixed methods study was to use the TeamSTEPPS® model to explore attitudes, perceptions and experiential teamwork patterns for individuals participating in the IECSP, a collaboration between a university and clinical organizations.
Methodology: This mixed method study, with a qualitative and quantitative strand, used a convergent parallel design (QUAN + QUAL). The quantitative strand examined participants' teamwork attitudes and perceptions from a survey, while the qualitative strand explored experiential patterns and themes related to teamwork from multiple sources of qualitative data.
Results: The T-TAQ survey had a mean of 44.3, and the T_TPQ survey had a mean of 78.9. The themes related to pre-participation decision-making for the program included the need for clarity for both program process and program expectations. Data triangulation identified that clear team structures, strong leadership, proactive situation monitoring, and use of active communication strategies enhance teamwork while mutual support and the use of TeamSTEPPS® enhance team culture.
Conclusion: IECSP team members identified positive attitudes, perceptions, and experiences in working with team members. Areas of opportunity were also identified indicating that additional teamwork guidance may be beneficial for the IECSP participants. It is recommended that IECSP coordinators apply strategies to enhance the use of the TeamSTEPPS® to improve teamwork.