Foster teamwork and a culture of quality improvement

To foster teamwork and a culture of quality improvement, a new director of an ambulatory care center in a hospital has begun holding twice-monthly management team meetings, consisting of several physicians, nurses, physician assistants, financial managers, and others. Attendance at these meetings has been erratic, and enforcing attendance is difficult because many of these people report to their discipline chiefs rather than to the director of the center. What advice would you give to this person to promote more consistent participation?

  1. A community task force has been formed to improve the coordination of care for the frail elderly. Given the large number of people and agencies involved in providing services to this population, how would you balance the need for representation with the need to keep the task force size to a manageable level?
  2. You are a member of a hospital project team assigned to develop a new pediatric oncology service line. Your team is expected to develop a business plan for presentation to the senior management team and the hospital board. A specific timetable has been established for producing a set of deliverables. The team leader is a well-known oncologist with a very strong clinical background and reputation. However, his team leadership skills leave something to be desired. Among other problems, meetings are cancelled at the last minute, delegation of tasks is ambiguous, and the focus and direction of the project changes scope at virtually every meeting. As a team member, what alternatives do you have to improve team management? Which alternative would you select as having the best chance of success?
  3. Along with other hospital business managers, you have been a member of a management team. Recently, you have been promoted, and your former business manager team members now report to you. As the new leader of the management team, what challenges will you face in managing the team? How would you approach these challenges?
  4. As described in this chapter, teams go through stages of development. As a team leader, what is the practical value to understanding these stages? How could this knowledge improve your effectiveness as a team leader?
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