Department of Defense Tools Help Hospital Foster a Culture of Patient Safety

Case Study

- October 2011

Abstract: Abington Memorial Hospital created a culture of patient safety and improved communication using the TeamSTEPPS™ program. Created by the Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, TeamSTEPPS™ is a teamwork system based on 25 years of experience and lessons learned from “high reliability organizations.” These organizations have conducted extensive research into how teams work, what makes them effective, and how to enhance individual and team performance. Nurse surveys conducted before TeamSTEPPS™ training and six months after implementation found increases in average scores on questions related to teamwork, communication, leadership, responsibility for patient safety, support, and trust. The hospital reports that serious safety events have been reduced since the implementation of TeamSTEPPS™ behaviors.

Keywords: Case study; Teamstepps; Healthcare improvement; Culture of safety; Quality culture; Organizational culture; Teamwork; Teams; Baldrige; KAPE award; Hospital

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--R. Stephens, 11-10-2011

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