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Table 5 Characteristics of a good interdisciplinary team

From: Ten principles of good interdisciplinary team work



1. Leadership and management

Having a clear leader of the team, with clear direction and management; democratic; shared power; support/supervision; personal development aligned with line management; leader who acts and listens.

2. Communication

Individuals with communication skills; ensuring that there are appropriate systems to promote communication within the team.

3. Personal rewards, training and development

Learning; training and development; training and career development opportunities; incorporates individual rewards and opportunity, morale and motivation.

4. Appropriate resources and procedures

Structures (for example, team meetings, organizational factors, team members working from the same location). Ensuring that appropriate procedures are in place to uphold the vision of the service (for example, communication systems, appropriate referral criteria and so on).

5. Appropriate skill mix

Sufficient/appropriate skills, competencies, practitioner mix, balance of personalities; ability to make the most of other team members' backgrounds; having a full complement of staff, timely replacement/cover for empty or absent posts.

6. Climate

Team culture of trust, valuing contributions, nurturing consensus; need to create an interprofessional atmosphere.

7. Individual characteristics

Knowledge, experience, initiative, knowing strengths and weaknesses, listening skills, reflexive practice; desire to work on the same goals.

8. Clarity of vision

Having a clear set of values that drive the direction of the service and the care provided. Portraying a uniform and consistent external image.

9. Quality and outcomes of care

Patient-centered focus, outcomes and satisfaction, encouraging feedback, capturing and recording evidence of the effectiveness of care and using that as part of a feedback cycle to improve care.

10. Respecting and understanding roles

Sharing power, joint working, autonomy.