Team approach and multidsciplinary care

Copyright © 2006 Society of Hospital Medicine

Multidisciplinary care refers to active collaboration between various members in the healthcare system to develop optimal care plans for each hospitalized patient. Multidisciplinary care teams maintain goals to enhance quality and patient safety, improve outcomes, decrease length of stay, and lower costs. Hospitalists coordinate complex inpatient medical care from admission through all care transitions to discharge. Hospitalists lead multidisciplinary teams within their institutions to achieve these goals and to improve care processes.


Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Describe the major elements of teamwork, including mutual respect, communication, common goals and plans, and accountability.

  • List major barriers to effective team interactions.

  • Describe aspects within an institution, including its local organizational culture, which can impact the structure and function of multidisciplinary teams.

  • List factors that positively and negatively affect formation and effective performance of multidisciplinary teams.


Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Determine an effective team composition and designate individual group member functions.

  • Demonstrate group dynamic skills, including communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, delegation, and time management.

  • Assess individual member's strengths and incorporate them effectively and productively into the team.

  • Assess group dynamics and facilitate optimal team functioning.

  • Integrate the assessments and recommendations of all contributing team members into the care plan.

  • Conduct effective multidisciplinary team rounds, which may include patients and their families.

  • Utilize team members' time effectively, maximizing efficiency and consistency.

  • Ensure the delivery of timely and accurate information.

  • Assess performance of team members, including self‐assessment, and identify opportunities for improvement.


Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Employ active listening techniques during interactions with team members and engage team participation.

  • Communicate frequently with all members of the multidisciplinary team.

  • Emphasize the importance of mutual respect among team members.

  • Act as a role model in professional conflict resolution and discussion of disagreements.

  • Share decision making responsibilities, within the appropriate scopes of practice, with care team members.

  • Create an environment of shared responsibility with patients and caregivers, and provide opportunities for patient and/or caregivers to participate in medical decision making.

  • Facilitate opportunities for interactive education among team members and for team members to educate patients and families.

  • Coordinate seamless transitions of care by utilizing combined expertise of team members.

  • Establish a hospital wide, non‐punitive culture of error reporting and prevention.

   Comments ()