Communication processes within health care teams have played a significant role in patient care and patient outcomes and have become more important over time. The increasing need for team care is a result of greater complexity of medical treatments and technology, more specialization of care providers, a desire to address multiple elements of patient care by interconnected providers, the influence of accrediting organizations such as the Joint Commission, and newer forms of health care financing and delivery. Health care teams can be described as intact groups of health care providers motivated to communicate with each other regarding the care of specific patients. This characterization is based on group dynamics research, which indicates that teams have varying degrees of interaction, interdependence, boundedness, commonality (shared knowledge, ...

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