How good teamwork affects patient care

Student Nurses

Examining the effectiveness of interprofessional teams, Ruth Harris, Professor of Nursing, recently completed a National Institute of Health Research funded study into the care of people who had a stroke.

Focusing on two stroke units in south London and the surrounding communities, the study investigated the impact and effectiveness of teamwork on the experiences of people who survive a stroke and their carers.

The study found that although patients and carers do not always notice team working, it may be an important determinant of the care they receive. Communication with staff was identified as having the biggest impact on patient and carer experience. For the staff themselves, team working was much more visible and some aspects had an important impact on the way the different professionals worked together.

Professor Harris’s findings make a significant contribution to current knowledge about the effectiveness of interprofessional teamwork and the structure and support of these teams.