Evaluating the effectiveness of health care teams.
While it is recognised that effective health care teams are associated with quality patient care, the literature is comparatively sparse in defining the outcomes of effective teamwork. This literature review of the range of organisational, team and individual benefits of teamwork complements an earlier article which summarised the antecedent conditions for (input) and team processes (throughput) of effective teams. This article summarises the evidence for a range of outcome measures of effective teams. Organisational benefits of teamwork include reduced hospitalisation time and costs, reduced unanticipated admissions, better accessibility for patients, and improved coordination of care. Team benefits include efficient use of health care services, enhanced communication and professional diversity. Patients report benefits of enhanced satisfaction, acceptance of treatment and improved health outcomes. Finally, team members report enhanced job satisfaction, greater role clarity and enhanced well-being. Due to the inherent complexity of teamwork, a constituency model of team evaluation is supported where key stakeholders identify and measure the intended benefits of a team.