Washington University Clinic Builds Teamwork Through Retreat

Washington University Complete Care Clinic Director Jennifer Schmidt, MD, posting notes from clinic team members with their aspirational thoughts about the clinic.

The Washington University Complete Care Clinic (WUCC) held a retreat for their clinical team including physicians, nurse practitioners, medical assistants, registered nurses, and clinical administration on Friday, December 10, 2021. Developed and led by Abby Spencer, MD, professor and vice chair for education in the Department of Medicine, the retreat featured a variety of activities including a four-quadrant team work-cycle exercise to better identify the strengths of individual team members. 

Photos here show the clinic staff participating in a structural tension model exercise, a process where a team collaborates to develop a shared vision. With Post-it notes, each team member listed their aspirational thoughts about the clinic. After reading through them together, the team then repeated the Post-it exercise to identify their thoughts on the current state of the clinic, the strengths they can use to attain the aspirational state, how to overcome barriers to that state, and actionable next steps.

Clinic team members do a “gallery walk” through their aspirational thoughts before voting on actionable next steps.

According to clinic medical director, Jennifer Schmidt, MD, “We have already put our three next steps into motion. We are working to standardize communication for providers and staff, updating our clinic TEAMS website, and starting a full clinic monthly meeting. We also have a clinic suggestion box that we will review every month as a group. And, we are planning on recognizing “shout-outs” for our clinic from our Press-Ganey patient feedback, fellow staff, and providers.”