Interprofessional Team Collaboration and Work Environment Health in 68 US Intensive Care Units

Author(s): Brenda T. Pun, DNP, RN, Jin Jun, PhD, RN, Alai Tan, PhD, Diane Byrum, MSN, RN, Lorraine Mion, PhD, RN, Eduard E. Vasilevskis, MD, MPH, E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH, and Michele Balas, PhD, RN, CCRN-K

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP C 1.00

Expires Nov 01, 2025

Topics: Collaboration, Healthy Work Environment

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Teamwork and a healthy work environment are especially important in intensive care units (ICUs), where over 4 million patients are admitted and 500 000 patients die each year in the United States. In addition to the high mortality rate, more medical errors and complications can occur in ICUs than in other units. Studies have shown that ICUs with low levels of team coordination, communication, and support have poorer guideline implementation, ICU protocol use, patient outcomes, and staff satisfaction. Similarly, compared with unhealthy work environments, healthy work environments are associated with better workplace interpersonal relationships, job performance, productivity, and patient safety and quality indicators. Quality patient care and staff well-being also depend on the foundation of strong teams working in healthy environments. One of the key characteristics of an effective team is cohesive teamwork, which is often measured as interprofessional.


  • List the common members of the intensive care unit (ICU) interprofessional team.
  • Describe several barriers to teamwork and healthy work environments in ICUs.
  • Identify at least 1 strategy for improving teamwork and/or healthy work environment in the ICU.

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Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 1.00 contact hours.

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