The teamwork structure, process, and context of a paediatric cardiac surgery team in Mongolia: A mixed-methods approach

Seungheon Han, Sugy Choi, Jayoung Park, Seoah Kweon, Se Jin Oh, Holly B. Shakya, Jongho Heo, Woong Han Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Effective teamwork in paediatric cardiac surgery is known to improve team performance and surgical outcomes. However, teamwork in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), including Mongolia, is understudied. We examined multiple dimensions of teamwork to inform a team-based training programme to strengthen paediatric cardiac surgical care in Mongolia. Methods: We used a mixed-methods approach, combining social network analysis and in-depth interviews with medical staff, to explore the structure, process, quality, and context of teamwork at a single medical centre. We conceptualised the team's structure based on communication frequency among the members (n = 24) and explored the process, quality, and context of teamwork via in-depth interviews with select medical staff (n = 9). Results: The team structure was highly dense and decentralised, but the intensive care unit nurses showed high betweenness-centrality. In the quality and process domain of teamwork, we did not find a regular joint decision-making process, leading to the absence of common goals among the team members. Although role assignment among the medical staff was explicit, those strictly defined roles hindered active communication about patient information and responsibility-sharing. Most interviewees did not agree with the organisational policies that limited discussions among team members; therefore, medical staff continued to share training and work experiences with each other, leading to strong and trustworthy relationships. Conclusion: The findings of this study underscore the importance of well-structured and goal-oriented communication between medical staff, as well as the management of the quality of collaboration within a team to increase teamwork effectiveness in paediatric cardiac surgery teams in LMICs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2224-2239
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • ICU nurses
  • LMICs
  • cardiovascular disease
  • child health
  • social network analysis
  • team-based training


Dive into the research topics of 'The teamwork structure, process, and context of a paediatric cardiac surgery team in Mongolia: A mixed-methods approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this