Evaluation of TeamSTEPPS® implementation finds improved teamwork and clinical outcomes

Research Activities, March 2012, No. 379

The TeamSTEPPS® system, an evidence-based teamwork system that was developed specifically for health care professionals to improve patient safety, focuses on four core areas of competency: team leadership, situation monitoring, mutual support, and communication. A customized 2.5-hour version of TeamSTEPPS® was used to train medical, nursing, and respiratory therapy staffs in both the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and the surgical intensive care unit (SICU) of an academic medical center. This training consisted of more than 40 group training sessions, with 5 to 10 participants each, during an 8-week period. Teamwork and patient outcomes improved 1 and 12 months after implementation.

Based on interview data, the implementation was perceived positively by participating staff. Also, data from several surveys indicated improvements in staff perceptions of teamwork and communication openness in both the PICU and SICU. Two of the three measured clinical outcomes improved during the study period. The average time for placing patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation declined significantly after 12 months. The percentage of hospital-acquired infections for both the SICU and PICU was lower than the 2009 upper control limit for 7 of the 8 post-implementation months. However, there was no significant difference in the mean response time for the adult surgery and pediatric rapid response team from pre- to post-implementation.

The researchers believe that their implementation approach demonstrates the effectiveness of using the TeamSTEPPS® action planning steps and educational materials as the basis for a streamlined training program. This study was supported in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Contract No. 290-06-00071).

See "Evaluating efforts to optimize TeamSTEPPS implementation in surgical and pediatric intensive care units," by Celeste M. Mayer, Ph.D., Laurie Cluff, Ph.D., Wei-Ting Lin, Ph.D., and others in the August 2011 Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety 37(8), pp. 365-374.

Page last reviewed March 2012
Internet Citation: Evaluation of TeamSTEPPS® implementation finds improved teamwork and clinical outcomes: Research Activities, March 2012, No. 379. March 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/mar12/0312RA6.html