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As indicated in Chapter 1, teamwork competencies are the combinations of values, knowledge, and skills that team members need in order to work effectively in teams. In the last few years, health professional groups in the United States and Canada have developed lists of competencies for interprofessional or collaborative healthcare practice. These competencies pertain equally to nurses, physicians, administrators, psychologists, social workers, and others working as members of a healthcare team. The previous chapter, Chapter 6, delineated characteristics of effective teams. In this chapter we discuss the competencies required of individual team members to achieve effective teamwork. In later chapters, we cover additional competencies specific to team leaders (Chapter 8), team sponsors (Chapter 12), and senior leaders of organizations in which teams function (Chapter 18).

A variety of groups and researchers have concentrated on the development of competencies for interprofessional healthcare practice in the past 2 decades, meaning that consensus-based competency frameworks for interprofessional practice are relatively current. In 2011, 6 professional associations in the United States—American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Association of American Medical Colleges, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Dental Education Association, and Association of Schools of Public Health—issued a joint statement of core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice (Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel [IECEP], 2011). Interprofessional competencies are defined by that expert panel as "integrated enactment of knowledge, skills, and values/attitudes that define working together across the professions, with other health care workers, and with patients, along with families and communities, as appropriate to improve health outcomes in specific care contexts" (IECEP, 2011, p. 2). The panel's framework separates 38 competencies into 4 domains: values/ethics (10 competencies), roles/responsibilities (9 competencies), communication (8 competencies), and teamwork (11 competencies).

The study of interprofessional collaboration has a more extensive history in the United Kingdom, Europe, and Canada than in the United States. Those countries have a longer and deeper experience base with collaborative care, probably due to their stronger public systems and the lower levels of fragmentation in their systems of healthcare financing and delivery. A Canadian group, the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (CIHC), issued a National Interprofessional Competency Framework in 2010, after 2 years of work that included a review of literature and existing competency frameworks (CIHC, 2010). The Canadian Collaborative defined competency as "a complex 'know act' that encompasses the ongoing development of an integrated set of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and judgments enabling one to effectively perform the activities required in a given occupation or function to the standards expected in knowing how to be in various and complex environments and situations." The competencies are customized around interprofessional collaboration, which is defined as "a partnership between a team of health providers and a client in a participatory, collaborative, and coordinated approach to shared decision making around health and social issues" (CIHC, 2010, p. ...

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