Dynamics of an orthopaedic team: Insights to improve teamwork through a design thinking approach

E. Caprari, J.T. Porsius, P. D'olivo, R.M. Bloem, S.B.W. Vehmeijer, N. Stolk, M. Melles*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


Supporting teamwork in healthcare is a way to foster both the quality and safety of care, and better working conditions for all the team members. Although increasing attention is paid to this topic on a general level, there is less knowledge about its unfolding in orthopaedic units and its translation to interventions. OBJECTIVE: To identify concrete opportunities for teamwork intervention through a design thinking approach by analysing the teamwork dynamics of an orthopaedic team. METHODS: An adaptation of the learning history method, comprising shadowing, observations and interviews involving 26 orthopaedic team members at a top clinical teaching hospital in the Netherlands, was applied. A thematic analysis was conducted to derive themes that describe team dynamics and to subsequently extrapolate opportunities for intervention. RESULTS:We identified five themes and translated them into four design opportunities for intervention, namely: a) Improve daily rounds by reducing cognitive overload and promoting confidence; b) Improve collaboration by building empathy; c) Connect the patient with the professional team; and d) Support changes by fostering learning. Suggestions for concrete actions are presented for each opportunity. CONCLUSIONS: Opportunities to improve teamwork among healthcare professionals, specifically those in orthopaedics, revolve around the creation of common knowledge, the fostering of mutual understanding, and the design of tools and activities that support these processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • design thinking
  • healthcare design
  • hospital wards
  • learning history
  • Team interactions


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