Patient Safety Tip of the Week

May 22, 2007    

More on TeamSTEPPS™



Last week, in our discussion on cockpit resource management and teamwork training, we noted the TeamSTEPPS™ program as a good resource. It is a team training program developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).



This week we had a first-hand opportunity to see the program and its potential. TeamSTEPPS™ was presented at the New York State Department of Health’s annual Patient Safety Conference in Albany, cosponsored by HANYS and GNYHA. Heidi King, the Deputy Director for the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program, provided an overview of development of the program. Key experts in teamwork from multiple fields came together and used evidence-based and research-grounded principles to develop the tools needed for teamwork training. This program and the tools have now been rolled out in multiple healthcare settings and applied to multiple subsites and patient populations and multiple different teams. The program comes with recommended rollout and implementation strategies but is eminently customizable to any organization. The program is continuously updated. Tools for outcomes measurement are also available.



Best yet, the tools are available for free! The TeamSTEPPS™ resources include presentation modules, great videos of bad and good team interactions and communications, implementation and action planning tools, evaluation tools, a pocket guide and posters. Many of the resources are available online and others are provided on CD/DVD’s. Topics covered include developing teams, use of briefs, brief checklists, huddles, debriefing, situation monitoring, cross monitoring, SBAR, handoffs, and others.



We highly recommend this program. It can be implemented at the individual unit level or overall organizational level. It has even been used as a community-wide collaborative effort. Programs like this should be part of the core curriculum for medical schools, nursing schools, and other healthcare professional schools. It clearly demonstrates the importance of multidisciplinary interaction and team skills that are necessary for the delivery of safe, effective care.



Learn more about the program by going to the TeamSTEPPS™ web page at AHRQ or the Department of Defense Patient Safety website.





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