Understanding the Value of Team-Based Care by Having Fun

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Team-based care approaches have been around for many years, but getting health care professionals to adopt these proven strategies requires training and management support. Innovative team-based training from Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) uses unusual—and fun—methods to help medical professionals understand what it takes to operate as a team.

All Hands on Deck

In one training, a group of internal medicine residents at BronxCare Health System were given an assortment of common household items—and instructed to build the tallest tower possible in 10 minutes.

Though the exercise involved laughter while building these strange towers, it carried a deeper message about what it takes to collaborate on a health care team. If one member of the team needed help to add to the delicately balanced tower, and no one pitched in, the tower might come tumbling down, just like a patients’ health might tumble if the care team doesn’t work well together. This simple but effective training device conveyed the value of listening to peers and working together toward a common goal.

“Our curriculum specialists design staff training sessions with adult learning in mind,” said PCDC Senior Project Manager Amy Breyer. “They’re not just informative—they’re also fun.”

Team Member Roles

Another activity that the PCDC team used appeared deceptively simple: completing a handout to describe every team member and their role. However, the complexities soon became clear as participants asked clarifying questions and realized their misconceptions about each other’s functions on the team.

“The training is effective because it combines both didactic and interactive learning to reinforce the underlying takeaways,” said Yael Lipton, PCDC’s Curriculum Development and Training Specialist. “Team-based care must be experiential in order to truly understand and connect with the concepts being taught—a foundation of PCDC’s training approach.”

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Goals of Team-Based Training

Short team-based training sessions like the one at BronxCare are designed to accomplish three goals:

  1. Understanding team-based care, especially for doctors whose patients are living with multiple chronic conditions
  2. Defining team roles and the challenges of operating within team-based care
  3. Recognizing the advantages of team-based care for both providers and patients

As for BronxCare, participants said the session shifted how they viewed their work.

“This training opened my eyes in ways I didn’t expect,” one participant wrote in a survey. “It was a very enjoyable few hours that provided practical, real-world approaches to team-based care. I’m eager to take these new skills back to my own work.”

“Team-based approaches in health care require a mindset shift, and training more practitioners to embody this collaborative model will help make health care more effective,” said Yael Lipton. “Team-based care has been shown to improve patient outcomes, prevent medical errors, and effectively manage chronic conditions.”

PCDC offers comprehensive, hands-on training for health care staff and providers that are customized to accommodate any group’s unique needs. Learn more about our process and contact us today.

Customized Trainings

PCDC offers comprehensive, hands-on trainings for health care staff and providers that are customized to accommodate any group’s unique needs. With workshops ranging from improving patient-practitioner communication to overcoming barriers in health literacy, PCDC’s courses encourage team building and foster healthy workplace habits.

Learn More