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Evaluating Efforts to Optimize TeamSTEPPS Implementation in Surgical and Pediatric Intensive Care Units

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Background: An evidence-based teamwork system, TeamSTEPPS®, was implemented in an academic medical center's pediatric and surgical ICUs.

Methods: A multidisciplinary change team of unit- and department-based leaders was formed to champion the initiative; develop a customized action plan for implementation; train frontline staff; and identify process, team outcome, and clinical outcome objectives for the intervention. The evaluation consisted of interviews with key staff, teamwork observations, staff surveys, and clinical outcome data.

Results: All PICU, SICU, and respiratory therapy staff received TeamSTEPPS training. Staff reported improved experience of teamwork posttraining and evaluated the implementation as effective. Observed team performance significantly improved for all core areas of competency at 1 month postimplementation and remained significantly improved for most of the core areas of competency at 6 and 12 months postimplementation. Survey data indicated improvements in staff perceptions of teamwork and communication openness in both units. From pre- to posttraining, the average time for placing patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) decreased significantly. The average duration of adult surgery rapid response team events was 33% longer at postimplementation versus pre-implementation. The rate of nosocomial infections at postimplementation was below the upper control limit for seven out of eight months in both the PICU and the SICU.

Conclusions: The implementation of a customized 2.5- hour version of the TeamSTEPPS training program in two areas—the PICU and SICU—that had demonstrated successful ability to innovate suggests that the training was successful.

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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