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Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2003;24(2):35-49.

Organizational structure, team process, and future directions of interprofessional health care teams.

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Psychology and Behavioral Health, VA Healthcare System, Long Beach, CA 90822, USA.


For a nationwide Geriatric Interdisciplinary Team Training (GITT) program evaluation of 8 sites and 26 teams, team evaluators developed a quantitative and qualitative team observation scale (TOS), examining structure, process, and outcome, with specific focus on the training function. Qualitative data provided an important expansion of quantitative data, highlighting positive effects that were not statistically significant, such as role modeling and training occurring within the clinical team. Qualitative data could also identify "too much" of a coded variable, such as time spent in individual team members' assessments and treatment plans. As healthcare organizations have increasing demands for productivity and changing reimbursement, traditional models of teamwork, with large teams and structured meetings, may no longer be as functional as they once were. To meet these constraints and to train students in teamwork, teams of the future will have to make choices, from developing and setting specific models to increasing the use of information technology to create virtual teams. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be needed to evaluate these new types of teams and the important outcomes they produce.

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