Moving to a Team-Based Structure in Health Care
- Journal for Quality and Participation
- June 2002
- Volume 25 Issue 2
- pp. 30-34
- Weitzel, Bret
- VEI/Community Hospitals Foundation, Indianapolis, IN
In 1997 Voluntary Enterprises, Inc. (VEI), a subsidiary of Community Hospitals Foundation in Indianapolis, began a four-year journey from a traditional reporting structure to a team-based approach. After attending a seminar in which Dr. Michael Hammer presented ideas from his book "Beyond Reengineering," the colleagues set out to determine if VEI's accounting processes could be reorganized so that individuals or teams are responsible from beginning to end. A team-based structure is challenging to maintain, requiring the right people in place to be successful. Turnover increased during the process as individuals were slotting into positions based on their qualifications. The result is a completely redesigned process for delivery of accounting services to which new ideas are continually added. A team-based structure helps create an environment of ownership among the people responsible for doing the work. A feeling of ownership in the product results in a vastly improved product.