Nursing Huddle in Academia Improving Teamwork and Communication
Laske, Rita A.
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Session presented on Monday, September 19, 2016: Teamwork is an essential component of successful organizations. Productive teams communicate effectively; they involve participants in the work of the team and the organization. Consequently, members feel connected with the mission and vision and with the plans of their units or departments. In 2011 the Institute of Medicine's report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change Advancing Health, recommended research on teamwork (IOM, 2008). In addition, the Institute of Healthcare Improvement suggested that Huddles are essential to teambuilding and interdisciplinary development (IHI, 2011). In an effort to develop teams and improve communication, organizations have incorporated the huddle as a teambuilding and communication strategy (Setaro & Connolly, 2011). Building on the success of the business huddle model, nursing huddles were established in healthcare agencies for inpatient units as a strategy to improve patient outcomes and to facilitate nursing staff communication (Glymph et al, 2015). A quick, 15-minute huddle conveys mission and safety and suggests inclusivity; huddles have the potential to foster effective teams. Huddles are being used as a strategy to build team competencies among nursing faculty teaching junior and senior baccalaureate students at a private university. The goal of the academic huddle is to convey inclusivity, improve communication, build a unified team, and improve student outcomes (Little, 2014). Both junior and senior level coordinators joined efforts to foster effective communication and teamwork and instituted the huddles. The level coordinators typically invite all didactic and clinical faculty to join the huddle. Huddles are scheduled every one to three weeks depending on weekly plans and availability. Led by level coordinators/facilitators, meetings are informal, in person, or online. Attendees discuss departmental goals, scheduling, and student outcomes quickly and efficiently. The context of the academic nursing huddle consists of faculty members' class schedules, research productivity, and clinical practice and teaching commitments. Faculty who cannot attend due to conflicts receive a list of topics discussed during the huddle as do those who attended the current huddle. Communication in the 15-minute, academic huddle sets the tone for daily and weekly activities. Huddles have provided an opportunity for the level coordinator/facilitator to share experiences of teaching university students with less experienced faculty. They have also addressed faculty concerns voiced within the safety of a huddle and helped faculty to focus on process improvement activities. Faculty's satisfaction with the academic huddle and perceptions of team building are being elicited during a phase I study to determine concerns to target improvements in huddle processes and structures. References Glymph, D., Olenick, M., Barbera, S., Brown, E., Prestianni, L., & Miller, C. (2015). Healthcare utilizing events (huddle): a systematic review. American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal, 83, 183-88. Huddles. (2011). Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Retrieved from http://www.ihi.org/search/pages/results.aspx?k=huddles Little, J. (2014). Learning through 'huddles' for health care leaders: why do some work teams huddle and others do no? Health Care Manager, 33, 1-8. doi:10.1097/HCM.0000000000000034. Setaro, J. & Connolly, M. (2011). Safety huddles in the pacu: when a patient self-medicates. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, 26, 96-102. The Future of Nursing. (2008). Institute of Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2010/The-Future-of-Nursing/Nursing%20Scope%20of%20Practice%202010%20Brief.pdf