Patient Care Coordination: How to Coordinate a Large Group or Team


Empower the Patient Care Coordination Team Members to Make Decisions

A Patient Care Coordination team is one of the most important teams that could exist in a healthcare organization. The team is usually made up of healthcare personnel from different departments of the healthcare organization and from different management levels (sometimes also including low-level employees). In order to build an effective care coordination team, some decision making should be delegated to the team members. Too often, decisions are made by top management and these decisions are expected to be implemented by team members who have no say in them. And some top managers make decisions without knowing fully what is going on at the patient-facing side of the team. A good team leader should empower each of the team members to make a decision that would affect the overall team. This will give the team members a sense of ownership of the team and the teams goals and this will lead to a more effective team.

Manage Conflict

When it comes to a group of people working together, conflict is bound to happen. A good team has had an effective conflict resolution structure. First off, conflict should not be ignored or swept under the rug. It should be identified and addressed. Teams that have a culture of ignoring conflicts like its a taboo eventually break apart because conflict ignored grows and festers and affects the functionality of the team and hinders progress and goal achievement. When an issue arises, it’s crucial that it is addressed straight away before it builds.

Brainstorming Sessions

A patient care coordination team that wants to be successful and provide the best care to patients should have regular brainstorming sessions. These brainstorming sessions will draw out idea gems and unlock the capabilities of every team member. It is a useful tool in all types of teams and groups. An effective brainstorming group should have no more than 10 or 12 members. A few tips on how to carry out a brainstorming session: clearly state the specific problem you’re trying to solve and allow everyone to shout out possible solutions and then write down all the ideas for everyone to see. Let every team member read all the ideas and have them analyze each one and vote on it. After this, you will pick the ideas that have the most amount of votes. If a particular idea has low votes but one or two team members consider it a viable option, allow them to defend the idea and try to convince the team on its viability. After this have a second vote for that particular idea. This will give the team members a chance to express themselves more and will let them know that every voice should be heard. When you have three to four good ideas, research and test each option to figure out which one is most feasible and effective. At the end of the brainstorming session, the whole team should know which top one or two things to focus on, and there should be consensus around those ideas.

Embrace the Team Members Self Interest

There are a few ways to get people to do things and one of those is appealing to their own self-interest. Now in a patient care coordination team, you shouldn’t have to appeal to the healthcare practitioners self-interest to get them to provide the best care to patients. It is their job and should be their number one priority. However, this technique can be used when implementing certain strategies. People do not like change and rather than fight them and bend them against their will, find a way to align the strategies to the self-interest of the teams. It could be for simple things like changing the frequency of communication or the mode or needing more detailed reports. If you want to get nurses to give more detailed reports and through different channels, you can align this with their self-interest by offering to pay more overtime for the time the extra work will take.

Experience Over Skills

Many skill can be though but experience has to be earned. When it comes to patient care coordination, experience, is a more viable quality to have in a patient care team. Dealing with humans, providing care to patients in their homes, or providing care to the same patient over years, is the type of experience that cannot be duplicated. In the healthcare industry, many care providers or nurses are under-appreciated because they do not have the education that new shiny healthcare doctors and nurses have. If you want to build an effective team, identify these individuals who have a lot of experience in the space and make them your team members. The identify individuals that process skills and make them a part of the teams as well. This will create a symbiotic relationship and balance within the team. As each group has something to learn from the other.