TeamSTEPPS encourages teamwork, communication

Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is a systematic approach developed by the Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to integrate teamwork into practice. It is designed to improve the quality, safety, and the efficiency of healthcare.

TeamSTEPPS is based on 25 years of research related to teamwork, team training, and culture change, according to information provided by AHRQ. As a direct outcome of the 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, To Err is Human, TeamSTEPPS introduces tools and strategies to improve team performance in healthcare.

The program includes a comprehensive set of ready-to-use materials and a training curriculum to successfully integrate teamwork principles into any healthcare system. TeamSTEPPS has a three-phased process aimed at creating and sustaining a culture of safety using these resources:

• a pretraining assessment for site readiness;

• training for onsite trainers and healthcare staff;

• an easy-to-use comprehensive multimedia kit that contains fundamentals modules in text and presentation format; a pocket guide that corresponds with the essentials version of the course; video vignettes to illustrate key concepts; and workshop materials, including a supporting CD and DVD, on change management, coaching, and implementation.

Healthcare providers may attend free master training sessions scheduled throughout the year and around the country. For the schedule and other information on TeamSTEPPS, go to http://teamstepps.ahrq.gov.