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TeamSTEPPSis a system for healthcare professionals for enhancing teamwork,improving their communication, and improving the patient safety. TheDoD Patient Safety Program (PSP) together with the agency forhealthcare research and quality developed it. It draws a vast rangeof experience and principles through research that it has conductedfor over twenty years.

EnhancingPatient Care

Accordingto U.S.Department of Health &amp Human Services(2015), the core mandate of TeamSTEPPS is improve the quality andoffer safer patient care. This is done by sensitizing the team ontheir respective roles and outlining their various responsibilities.Sufficient use of information, people, and resources make medicalteams efficient, and this is reflected in great clinical outcomes.Sometimes conflicts arise among health care professionals as a resultof individualism, to stem this TeamSTEPPS helps to resolve conflictsthrough sharing of information. It also eliminates barriers toquality and safety.

Phasesof TeamSTEPPS

Thereare three phases of TeamSTEPPS aims to develop a safety culture. Thefirst phase is assessing the need to determine whether anorganization is willing to undertake a TeamSTEPPS-based initiative,which involves an analysis of the training requirements. Second isthe planning, training, and implementation phase, which includes theexecution of TeamSTEPPS initiative according to the needs of theorganization. The second stage involves the formulation of strategiesand selecting tools of implementation that will be used. The thirdphase of TeamSTEPPS is the sustainment phase. The main objective ofthis phase is to ensure that there is an improvement in teamperformance and to provide continual support of the core principles.Sustainment phase also seeks to find opportunities to implementstrategies and receive feedback on the skills gained.


Siteassessment is the process of identifying deficiencies in teamworkthat need to be addressed. Identification leads to the development oftraining objectives. It involves identifying opportunities forimprovement, the readiness and willingness of the institution,identification of barriers to change, and choosing the rightresources for successful undertaking of the initiative (Cooke, 2016).The process of site assessment follows the establishment of a changeteam, defining the challenge and setting the end goal.

Planning,Training, And Implementation

Planninginvolves developing an action plan, training, and implementing thesystem (Boynton,2015).The steps involved are

  1. Decide the best TeamSTEPPS intervention to use. There are two ways of executing TeamSTEPPS training using all the tools in one sitting which are referred to as complete training and using specific tools referred to as dosing.

  2. Develop a plan to determine if the intervention is effective by assessing skills and knowledge gained at the end of the training.

  3. Develop an implementation plan. It involves deciding which groups will be trained and in which order, what level of training will be given, the venue of the training and the trainer who will conduct the process.

  4. Seek leadership commitment to refining the plan. This involves sharing all the details of the training with them.

  5. Develop communication plan detailing what will be done at the end goal of the training.

  6. Prepare the institution to allow smooth and effective training and application of the new strategies.

  7. Implement the training. TeamSTEPPS has three different medical team training curricula. First is training the trainers, which take two days, and it empowers the teamwork instructors with the skills to train others. Second is the fundamentals of TeamSTEPPS which an interactive workshop for direct care providers, and lastly is the essentials of TeamSTEPPS which are designed for nonclinical support staff.

Sustainingan Intervention

Sustainingan intervention involves changing team manager through tutoring andobserving team performance.For an effective sustainment plan, the managers include the followingsteps.

  1. Provide opportunities to practice these behaviors.

  2. Emphasize the new skills learned in training.

  3. Provide regular feedback about the training.

  4. Celebrate the improvements of teamwork and recognize the efforts undertaken.

  5. Measure the success by demonstrating satisfaction with training, use of effective tools, and strategies to ensure to assess the change.

  6. Update the plan as the organization’s needs, which keep changing and focus on them.


TeamSTEPPShas helped greatly improve communication and teamwork skills therebyreducing errors that were earlier attributed to the breakdown inhealth care team interactions.


Boynton,B. (2015).&nbspSuccessfulNurse Communication.Philadelphia: F.A. Davis.

Cooke,M. (2016). TeamSTEPPS for health care risk managers: Improvingteamwork and communication.&nbspJournalof Healthcare Risk Management,36(1),35-45.

U.S.Department of Health &amp Human Services. (2015). About TeamSTEPPS.Retrieved October 09, 2016, from

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