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Twelve Best Practices for Team Training Evaluation in Health Care

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Background: Evaluation and measurement are the building blocks of effective skill development, transfer of training, maintenance and sustainment of effective team performance, and continuous improvement. Evaluation efforts have varied in their methods, time frame, measures, and design. On the basis of the existing body of work, 12 best practice principles were extrapolated from the science of evaluation and measurement into the practice of team training evaluation. Team training evaluation refers to efforts dedicated to enumerating the impact of training (1) across multiple dimensions, (2) across multiple settings, and (3) over time. Evaluations of efforts to optimize teamwork are often afterthoughts in an industry that is grounded in evidence-based practice. The best practices regarding team training evaluation are provided as practical reminders and guidance for continuing to build a balanced and robust body of evidence regarding the impact of team training in health care.

The 12 Best Practices: The best practices are organized around three phases of training: planning, implementation, and follow-up. Rooted in the science of team training evaluation and performance measurement, they range from Best Practice 1: Before designing training, start backwards: think about traditional frameworks for evaluation in reverse to Best Practice 7: Consider organizational, team, or other factors that may help (or hinder) the effects of training and then to Best Practice 12: Report evaluation results in a meaningful way, both internally and externally.

Conclusions: Although the 12 best practices may be perceived as intuitive, they are intended to serve as reminders that the notion of evidence-based practice applies to quality improvement initiatives such as team training and team development as equally as it does to clinical intervention and improvement efforts.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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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.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

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