The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) is collaborating with five professional health care organizations to establish a new group aimed at improving teamwork and accountability in the nation’s hospitals.
The members of the new group, the Hospital Care Collaborative (HCC), comprise the AARC, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Society of Health System Pharmacists, Case Manager Society of America, Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care, and Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM).
As its initial effort, the group has published a list of 13 guiding principles for quality health care. The Common Principles for Healthcare emphasize the need for collaboration, patient centered care, accountability, and information sharing, and they also address systemic issues in hospital care, such as gaps in health care education and the pressing need for a hospital culture that promotes better teamwork.
AARC President Tim Myers, BA, RRT-NPS, believes the HCC principles will provide the framework needed for health professionals to come together for the good of the patient, saying in a release to the press, “The AARC recognizes that when health care professionals work together in a non-hierarchical model at the bedside, improved clinical and economic outcomes result. The collective knowledge, talent, and professionalism of all team members results in improving the value of clinical care to our patients. The AARC staunchly supports the HCC’s Common Principles of Healthcare.”
Scott Flanders, MD, FHM, president of the SHM, too, supoprts the initiative, stating, “Our patients will benefit when the entire health care team is mobilized to provide the best care we can all muster for their benefit. SHM is committed to working closely with our health professional allies–nursing, pharmacy, social work, case managers, and respiratory therapists–to make this happen.”
In addition to publishing the 13 guiding principles, HCC has identified other goals, including: 

Identify and promote best practices in multidisciplinary teamwork.

Promote continued and expanded collaboration among the HCC organizations to develop and implement strategies for teamwork among health professionals.

Develop methods and tools for teams in hospitals to perform a Self Assessment of Compliance with the Common Principles.

Develop and promote education programs specifically for interdisciplinary teams.

Promote the Collective Accountability by Measurement of Performance at the Team, a strategy supporting the HCC’s belief that the best measurement of performance is at the team level rather than individual health professional level.


The 13 HCC principles can be found on the AARC web site.