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Victorian TeamSTEPPSTM Pilot Project
Ineffective communication and teamwork has been identified as a significant contributor to adverse health outcomes. Good communication and a team approach is recognised to assist in the effective functioning of multidisciplinary teams and produce the best results for the patient.
The TeamSTEPP® program is an evidence-based teamwork training system designed to improve collaboration, communication and patient safety within health care organisations. An acronym for Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety, TeamSTEPPS® was developed by the US Department of Defense Patient Safety Program in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)1.
The TeamSTEPPS® program targets four critical competencies of effective teamwork, these being leadership, mutual support, shared mental model and communication.
In 2008, TeamSTEPPS® was trialled by South Australia Health in targeted clinical handover projects in five pilot sites. An evaluation of the content and process of TeamSTEPPS® for its validity in handover in the Australian context was undertaken. The evaluation found TeamSTEPPS® to be ‘applicable, relevant and adaptable to the Australian health care context’ 2.
The VQC Culture and Communication Working Group is overseeing the Victorian TeamSTEPPS® Pilot Project. The aim of the Victorian TeamSTEPPS® Pilot Project is to improve multidisciplinary teamwork and the communication of clinical information among health care professionals. Five Victorian public health services are participating in the pilot project. The expected project completion date is March 2012.
The Victorian TeamSTEPPS® Pilot Project is supported by South Australia Health.
An invited submission process was undertaken in July 2010 to identify clinical teams (unit or ward level) of Victorian public hospitals to participate in the pilot project. This process involved participation in an information session and a request for invited submissions, which closed on 4 August. Applications were assessed against key evaluation criteria, and health services were notified of the invited submission process outcomes on 13 August. Five sites were selected to participate in the pilot project. These are:
A project initiation meeting was held on 8 September 2010 for representatives of the sites participating in the TeamSTEPPS® pilot project.
The TeamSTEPPS® two-and-a-half day train-the-trainer workshop was held on 3 – 5 November 2010 and was very successful. The workshop introduced the TeamSTEPPS® curriculum, tools and strategies and prepared participants as health service site trainers to deliver a condensed form of the training to staff at the participating sites; Fundamentals course. The workshop was facilitated by Ms Mary Salisbury, US TeamSTEPPS® Master Trainer and member of the original research team involved in translating the principles of crew resource management to health care. Ms Salisbury was supported by Ms Karen Stead and Ms Kristy Pirone, South Australia Health and Dr Dave Sainsbury, Dr Dave Sainsbury, Head of Anaesthesia Department, Women and Children’s Hospital, South Australia. Forty-six health professionals, including medical, nursing, allied health and quality and safety staff from the participating sites attended the workshop.
A TeamSTEPPS® podcast with Ms Mary Salisbury and Dr Dave Sainsbury is available online at the VQC Qualitycast.
All five sites have completed TeamSTEPPS® Phase 1: Site Assessment. This assesses organisational readiness for change and support for the intervention. The participating sites have used a number of assessment materials to determine if the climate is conducive to change and have identified areas for improvement in teamwork and communication.
All sites are currently in TeamSTEPPS® Phase 2: Planning, Training and Implementation. Most sites have completed Fundamental course training of staff and have developed action plans for the implementation of the chosen TeamSTEPPS® tools and strategies to improve teamwork and communication. Sites will commence implementation of the TeamSTEPPS® tools and strategies for 11 months from February 2011. These action plans also outline how the site will evaluate the impact of the TeamSTEPPS® intervention.
Monthly progress meetings are held with the health service site representatives and the TeamSTEPPS® Project Manager to monitor the implementation of TeamSTEPPS® at participating sites.
For further information about this VQC Victorian TeamSTEPPS® Pilot Project contact Sonia Caruana, Senior Project Officer on (03) 9096 1383. Further information about TeamSTEPPS® can be found at the AHRQ website.
Last updated: 30 March, 2011
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