Written by: Timothy K. Dunn, PT, DPT, GCS, COS-C, CEEAA

“There is no ‘I’ in team”.  Perhaps you have encountered this cliché before. In the field of heath care, this statement could not be more true. The bottom line is that we can’t do it alone.  In order to succeed in the emerging landscape, a “team” approach is more important than ever.  

T:  Transition focused.  Punctuated care delivery favors a reconstructive mindset.  In other words, high risk, high volume, problem prone conditions are typically treated symptomatically, as exacerbations irrupt.  Effective transitioning promotes stabilization of chronic disease states across a continuum of care delivery platforms.  Networking with hospitals, ECFs, ALFs, HHAs, medical equipment companies, out-patient clinics and non-traditional care delivery options will ensure that the right care is rendered at the right time. Accountable Care Organizations and Medical Home Models have been shown to create significant savings and enhance patient outcomes by incorporating health promotion, stabilization, and wellness concepts. 1

E: Evidence based. “Opinion based medicine” has created inconsistency in outcome. CMS agrees, “It is anticipated that process of care implemented according to evidence-based guidelines will ultimately lead to better clinical outcomes”.4   Fostering clinical excellence will have the additional advantage of creating improved operational and financial outcome for your organization.3

A: Accountable to outcome. The healthcare of tomorrow is a value, not volume, based system. Matching patient characteristics with the optimal clinician(s) will minimize redundancy and unnecessary over utilization.  To achieve this objective, nurses, physical, occupational, speech therapists, social workers, and clinical managers must be operating transparently, keenly aware of each other’s skills, abilities and commitment to the greater objective of a favorable outcome. We are all accountable for our patient’s outcome. The transition from siloed to coordinated care is upon us. Embrace it.

M: Measured success.  John William Gardner, author of, On Leadership, states, “Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”4 Stay focused on the successful completion of the plan of care. Target your patient centered goals and stay committed to achieving them. Monitor and measure your progress. Synergize the talents of your multidisciplinary team for the higher purpose of fantastic outcomes.  Remember, “there is no ‘I’ in team”.


Interested in learning more from Timothy? Check out his courses, “Assessment, Tests, and Treatment for the Medically Fragile Patient” and “Evidence-Based Home Health Rehabilitation” on our website.



  1. The Remington Report September/October 2013 Volume 21. Issue 5.
  2. Sackett DL, Straus SE, Richardson WS, Rosenberg W, Haynes RB. Evidence-Based Medicine. How to Practice and Teach EBM. 2nd Edinburgh: Churchhill Livingstone; 2000: 1.
  3. NAHC Post-Conference Recap Webinar, 2014 Rebasing: Strategies to Counteract Constant Cuts While Improving Quality of Care. McBee Associates, Inc. November 2013.
  4. OASIS-C Guidance Manual/December 2010/ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  5. Gardner, J.W. (1990). On Leadership.  New York, NY: The Free Press.