Prestigious awards for research on communication behavior in medical teams

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In the Netherlands, patient treatment plans are mostly discussed within medical multidisciplinary teams, in which medical physicians collectively formulate treatment recommendations. These teams would benefit from taking more time to discuss patients’ background information and problems, the so-called initial orientation phase. According to award winning new research by organizational psychologist Margo Janssens, this leads to more focus in discussions and faster decision-making. This can reduce the workload among medical specialists, as well as the costs associated with these meetings.

Margo Janssens’ research provides important new insights into communication behavior and decision-making processes in medical multidisciplinary teams. Analyzing how the collective decision-making process unfolds down to the millisecond, Janssens was able to formulate concrete improvements to make multidisciplinary team consultations more focused and efficient. 

The multidisciplinary study was co-funded by the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital (ETZ) in Tilburg and is part of the WeCare program , a collaborative program between researchers at Tilburg University and the ETZ. Researchers from different faculties and disciplines of Tilburg University collaborated in the study.  

Award-winning research 

Improving multidisciplinary care in the medical sector and keeping it affordable is one of the main research themes of the Netherlands Science Agenda (NWA). This research ties in with this and offers important insights into the effects of communication behavior. The research has not gone unnoticed internationally either. Margo Janssens received two prestigious awards during the Academy of Management Conference in Boston. The Academy of Management is the largest and most important professional association of researchers in the field of management and organization. 

Margo Janssens received a certificate of recognition and cash award from AUPHA (The Association of University Programs in Health Administration), along with award plaques from the Healthcare Management Division from the Academy of Management. These awards are given to papers that offer new insights, make rich observations and use innovative methodology.   

Multidisciplinary collaboration 

Margo Janssens has just completed her PhD track within the Department of Organization Studies at the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB) and has started a new position in the same department as an Assistant Professor. The award winning paper is part of her PhD dissertation, which is based on a joint research program between Tilburg University and ETZ in collaboration with Roger Leenders (TSB), dr. Nicoleta Meslec (TSB), dr. Laurens Beerepoot (ETZ; oncologist), Samantha Van der Bruggen (ETZ; resident internal medicine) and dr. Alexander Schouten (TSHD).