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Perspectives on Multidisciplinary Team Processes Among Healthcare Executives: Processes That Facilitate Team Effectiveness

Author: AMY LANDRY and CATHLEEN ERWIN
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 38 No. 3

Background: Multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) are used in healthcare organizations to address both clinical and managerial functions. Despite their prevalence, little is known about how team processes work to facilitate effectiveness among MDT leadership teams.
Purpose: This study explores perceptions of MDT participation experienced by organizational leaders in healthcare organizations in the United States.
Methodology/Approach: A survey of American College of Healthcare Executives members was conducted to assess involvement and perceptions of MDTs among health care management professionals. Descriptive statistics, independent T-Tests and Chi-square analyses were used to examine participation in MDTs, perception of MDT processes, and the association of participation and perceived processes with employee and organizational characteristics.
Findings: The survey yielded a sample comprised of 492 healthcare executive or executive-track employees. An overwhelming majority indicated participation in MDTs. The study identified team processes that could use improvement including communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution.
Practice Implications: The study provides evidence that can help guide the development of training programs that focus on providing managerial leaders with strategies aimed at improving communication, coordination, and conflict resolution that will improve the effectiveness of MDT functioning in healthcare organizations.

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