Mastering the medical mindshift: From simple collaboration to professional teamwork

Facts and Figures from the German Health Care System

What it’s all about

Doctors of the next generation of practice owners are focusing on teamwork because it offers their staff and patients a multitude of benefits. In contrast, only very few established GP and specialist practices work in „real“ teams.

What is teamwork?

Teamwork is characterised by

  • common goals,
  • largely autonomous task completion,
  • mutual complementation and support as well as
  • self-direction to solve problems and
  • and self-initiated measures to improve the results of the work.

characterised.This distinguishes it from the group form of cooperation. Their work is characterised by a low synergy of individual activities: the medical assistants work together, but always only within the framework given to the individual group member. Individual initiative or helping out with problems are rather rare. Moreover, the cooperation is often characterised by unresolved conflicts. Although each staff member strives to do her tasks well, there is no sustained joint commitment to constant improvement.

The group, for its part, stands out positively from the purpose group, whose work performance is characterised by „service by the book“ and „lone wolf behaviour“.

What benefits teamwork has

The cooperation of practice staff in team form offers a number of advantages:

For doctors

  • The quality of the staff’s performance is qualitatively and quantitatively significantly better than in other forms of cooperation.
  • They are relieved of significantly fewer management and control tasks and have more time for their patients.
  • Increased productivity, efficiency and patient satisfaction result in better practice results.

For the staff

  • A team environment increases work motivation and satisfaction.
  • Each staff member can contribute her personal strengths and receives help with her weaknesses.
  • Temporarily higher workloads are distributed among all staff members and create significantly less stress.

For the patients

  • Teams are able to provide more intensive medical care compared to other forms of cooperation.
  • The care of visitors to the practice can be more personalised.
  • The balanced working atmosphere creates a feel-good atmosphere and higher satisfaction.

Team Insights

If you want to lead your staff successfully as a team in the long term, you need knowledge – not assumptions – about the following facts:

  • Team Experience Portfolio (TEP)

What is the current self-image of the team members, broken down into a description of strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities as a result of previous cooperation experiences?

  • Overall Team Satisfaction (OTS)

How do the team members generally rate their framework of action in comparison with their requirements?

  • Team Harmony Balance (THB)

How pronounced is the degree of agreement among team members in evaluating their working framework? The information can also be used as an

This information can also be used as an indicator of the potential for conflict within the team.

  • Teamwork Quality Score (TQS)

How far has the quality of cooperation been developed in the sense of implementing „real“ teamwork? Often the members interact only as a community, group or alliance of purpose.

  • Return on Management (ROM)

What impact do team building measures have on teamwork quality?

  • Team Development Options (TDO)

What ideas and suggestions exist from the staff perspective that contribute to further improving teamwork?

TQS finding: Most practices work in groups, not teams

If one examines the satisfaction of medical assistants with the conditions of collaboration in their practices across all speciality groups and practice forms, the average Teamwork Quality Score (TQS) is just under 45% (optimum: 100%), i.e. this important practice success factor is only insufficiently developed and characterises collaboration in group form.

Is your team a „real“ team?

GPs and specialists who want to make full use of the success principle of „teamwork“ for their operations must first know the teamwork status of their staff. A validated and simple way is to use the Valetudo Check-up© „Teamwork Medical Practice“, a procedure that is also very accepted because no staff member has to „come out“. The associated expertise then describes in detail which measures and instruments should be used if team status has not yet been achieved.