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The You CAN Campaign: Teamwork Training for Patients and Families in Ambulatory Oncology

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Background: Health care organizations have begun to adapt high-performance teamwork training techniques from aviation to clinical environments. Oncology care is often delivered in multispecialty teams and with the patient's and family's active involvement. To examine the potential value of a patient-oriented teamwork intervention, a teamwork training initiative for oncology patients and their families was developed at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Developing the Campaign: The content and format of the initiative evolved iteratively on the basis of several core team-training concepts derived from the research literature in health care and aviation. Initially a targeted intervention, the program evolved into a multifaceted campaign that included internal marketing, staff training, and one-on-one patient outreach by a group of volunteers. The You CAN campaign sought to convey a positive and empowering message that encouraged patients to (1) check for hazards in the environment, (2) ask questions of clinicians, and (3) notify staff of safety concerns.

Implementing the Campaign: The You CAN campaign was conducted from July through September 2007. To assess its progress, patients were surveyed at baseline and during the campaign. On the basis of the survey results, 32% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 25%–38%) of the ambulatory clinic population, or 1,145 patients, were exposed to the campaign. Although patients rated the quality of teamwork and communication favorably at both baseline and follow-up, there was no significant change in the self-reported use of teamwork techniques on a written survey. However, 39% (95% CI: 27%–51%) of those who were exposed to the campaign said that it changed their behavior.

Discussion: A training program for patients and their families is feasible in ambulatory oncology and may be applicable to other clinical settings.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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