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October 2014

Team-Based Surgical CareAn Important Role for Academic Health Centers

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey
  • 2Office of the Dean and CEO, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey
JAMA Surg. 2014;149(10):999-1000. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.219

It is an inescapable fact that the expectations for the delivery of high-value, safe, and effective patient care in the hospital setting have changed dramatically over the last few years, and nowhere is this evolution more evident than in acute surgical care. The increasing number of process and outcome measures, the growing importance of patient satisfaction scores, and the evolving changes in reimbursement intensify this emphasis on the total patient experience. Physicians must focus on value for patients and can no longer see themselves as “self-contained, isolated actors.”1 Instead, they must lead the formation of collaborative care teams, based in integrated practice units (IPUs) across the care continuum. The degree of this care transformation is evident in the recent report from the Institute of Medicine embracing a new professional culture of teamwork and collaboration.2 This move toward team-based collaborative care is also supported by the development of valid psychometric survey instruments used to assess various dimensions of teamwork, while demonstrating significant relationships to clinical outcomes and performance metrics.3

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