8 Team and Teamwork (Team Dynamics and Interprofessional Practice Models)



This lesson on teams and teamwork examines best practices of team dynamics and interprofessional practice models.  In other words, what makes a high-performing team?  There is an examination of the importance of flexibility/adaptability and its impact on team functioning.  Meanwhile, the topic of team intelligence, which is like emotional intelligence, but on a group level is introduced.  Lastly the interprofessional practice models of S.C.O.R.E. and those from Wamsley are offered.


For this lesson you will:

  1. Identify important components of team dynamics.
  2. Identify barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare.
  3. Observe and describe experiences that are team intelligence.
  4. Identify important behaviors and characteristics of high-performing teams.
  5. Describe the importance of flexibility/adaptability on team functioning.


IPEC Sub-Competencies – Teams and Teamwork
TT5 Apply leadership practices that support collaboration practice and team effectiveness.
TT6 Engage self and others to constructively manage disagreements about values, roles, goals, and actions that arise among health and other professionals with patients, families, and community members.
TT7 Share accountability with other professions, patients, and communities for outcomes relevant to prevention and healthcare.
TT8 Reflect on individual and team performance for individual, as well as team performance improvement.
TT9 Use process improvement to increase effectiveness of interprofessional teamwork and team-based services, programs, and policies.
TT10 Use available evidence to inform effective teamwork and team-based practices.


Adaptability – “enables a team to respond to changes in the environment and change in the plan for patient management” (Weller, Boyd, & Cumin, 2014, p.149)

Team intelligence – “The mastery of cognition (thinking) governing the coordination of elements of a task.  It involves being aware not only of what skills and material people have mastered but also of what they don’t understand but need to.  It means making sure that people speak the same language, share the same goals, have clear expectations, are not subverted by unclear assumptions, and help one another maintain situational awareness.  Being aware of the barriers that might prevent people from sharing important information and insights is also central to team intelligence.” (Gordon, 2012, p. 219)

Teamwork – “An essential component of patient-centered primary care practice is interprofessional teamwork.  High functioning teams require collaboration between physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, clinical psychologists, case managers, medical assistants, and clinical administrators” (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2010, p.2).


  • The following sources with study guides have been curated for student learning.
  • For application and demonstration of learning, lab exercises can be found in the second half of this online education resource.

EXAMINE:  Figure 3.  High-performing c-suite executive teams require a complementary set of characteristics known collectively as S.C.O.R.E.

Study Guide:  Bawany explains the components of the SCORE Framework:  1) cohesive Strategy with vision and a team charter; 2) Clearly defined roles & responsibilities for team members; 3) developing Open and trust-based communication; 4) agility and Rapid decision making; and 5) Exemplary leadership

REFERENCE:  Bawany, S. (2022).  Leading high performance teams for a disruptive and digital-driven workplace.  Retrieved November 5, 2022 from, https://www.disruptiveleadership.institute/

READ:  11. On Teams, Teamwork, and Team Intelligence

Study Guide:   Gordon offers the concept of team intelligence as a framework of team functioning – it describes how a team coordinates the work to complete a task – this includes understanding of roles and responsibilities, interprofessional communication, and values and ethics.

REFERENCE:  Gordon, S. (2012). 11. On Teams, Teamwork, and Team Intelligence. In R. Koppel & S. Gordon (Ed.), First, Do Less Harm: Confronting the Inconvenient Problems of Patient Safety (pp. 196-220). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

WATCH: What makes a Team Teams and teamwork in healthcare 5/7

Study Guide: Wamsley describes team dynamics in terms of the difference in levels of interaction and engagement.  These levels are coordination, collaboration, and teamwork.

REFERENCE:  Wamsley, M.  (2015, June 5).  What makes a team, teams and teamwork?  [Video].  YouTube.

READ:  Helping fluid teams work:  A research agenda for effective team adaptation in healthcare

Study Guide:  Bedwell, Ramsey, and Salas state that healthcare teams are ad hoc/fluid teams.  Additionally, they offer that team members need training on generalizable teamwork skills and shared leadership for teams to adapt effectively.

REFERENCE:  Bedwell, W. L., Ramsay, P. S., & Salas, E. (2012). Helping fluid teams work: A research agenda for effective team adaptation in healthcareTranslational behavioral medicine2(4), 504–509.


Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  Veterans Health Administration.  (2010, August 26).  VA requests proposals for primary care education centers for excellence.  Program Announcement.  Washington, DC:  Author.  Retrieved April 9, 2011 from http://www.va.gov/oaa/rfp_coe.asp

Weller, J., Boyd, M., & Cumin, D. (2014). Teams, tribes and patient safety: overcoming barriers to effective teamwork in healthcare. Postgraduate Medical Journal90(1061), 149–154. https://doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2012-131168 


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Interprofessional Education Lab Manual And Workbook Copyright © by Geraldine Terry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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