Strengthening teamwork capability: Evaluation of a team development program

Ms Angela Wood1, Dr  Laurelie Wishart1,2, Ms Kathy  Grudzinskas3, Ms Gail  Gordon4, Ms Julie-Anne  Ross1, Ms Sarah  Bailey1

1Allied Health Workforce Development Team, Metro South Hosptial & Health Service, Brisbane, Australia , 2Centre for Functioning & Health Research, Metro South Hospital & Health Service, Brisbane, Australia, 3Clinical Support Services, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Hospital & Health Service, Brisbane, Australia, 4Redland Hospital & Wynuum Manly Community Health Services, Metro South Hospital & Health Service, Brisbane, Australia

Background: Effective teamwork is critical to achieve optimal patient outcomes. Complex conditions, increasing co-morbidities, specialisation and scarcity of resources mean health professionals need to work effectively in teams to achieve quality, safe patient outcomes.

Method: A mixed methods audit study was conducted, and Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Model was utilised as a framework to evaluate an interprofessional teamwork program delivered in a large metropolitan hospital.

Results: This study demonstrated a very high level of staff satisfaction with the team development program, and significantly increased knowledge of effective teamwork characteristics following the initial primary intervention. Six months following commencement of the program participants reported an increase in behaviours essential to high performing teams. Perceived impact of the program on patient and organisational outcomes was evident, though less compelling than the change in teamwork knowledge and behaviours.

Discussion: The results of this research will support healthcare leaders to understand, value and implement interprofessional team development programs to cultivate essential teamwork knowledge, skills and behaviours. While participants perceived the program contributed to patient and organisational outcomes, this result was less compelling, possibly due to challenges evaluating impact at this level, and the program emphasis on developing positive teamwork attributes. Further research on the impact of developing teamwork capabilities on patient and organisational outcomes would be of value. The impact of high participation rates on the broader organisational culture, and therefore organisational outcomes will be discussed, as well as limitations of the evaluation.


Angela Wood is an Occupational Therapist (OT) working in an Allied Health Workforce Development role in Metro South Hospital and Health Service, based at Princess Alexandra Hospital. Angela has over 20 years healthcare experience in the public, private, corporate and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom. On completion of a Master of Health Science (Health Services Management) she developed a passion for supporting and developing health professionals, and developing and implementing new and innovative models of care.  Research includes optimal skills mix for best patient outcomes and the contribution of effective teamwork to patient care.  Angela is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Redesign.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Recent Comments