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St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center

Advancing Excellence

Apr 20 2014
TeamSTEPPS Builds Teamwork and Focus on Patient Safety

Last week I had the chance to attend a “TeamSTEPPS” training program taught by Frank Panzetta (our Director of Employee Experience) and Diane McDermott (Clinical Nurse Specialist). Frank, Diane and other colleagues have trained thousands of employees and physicians at St. Joseph’s in the use of these communications tools over the past year.

The purpose of TeamSTEPPS is to build teamwork and a focus on patient safety through improved communication. This program has added great value and enhanced other safety programs we use at St. Joseph’s such as MOREOB, LifeWings, and Partnership for Patients.

The program includes:

1) Communication, Communication, Communication. TeamSTEPPS is helping us to learn new ways/tools to enhance communication to support a culture of safety. 

2) Our Mission & Core Values. Especially respect and reverence for one another. We emphasize the Golden Rule – treat others the way you would like to be treated. Care enough to know other people’s situations. Try not to judge until you walk in their shoes.

3) The Three Components of Relationship Based Care. Taking care of ourselves first – so that we can come to work refreshed to build those positive relationships with our co-workers – to ultimately care for our patients and families.

4) Situation Awareness – Actively Listening. Knowing when and how to assertively voice a concern and “stop the line.” Utilize supervisors or chains of leadership. Empower staff members to speak up when they have that gut reaction/feeling that they know something is not right. Advocate for the patient and family.
Our environment has always been pressure filled. Add to that increased expectations to move towards managing care in different ways in the community, while improving quality and decreasing costs, and a tumultuous environment has been made even more complicated.

How do we cope? One important way is by using the framework provided by TeamSTEPPS to listen and support each other. 

The result will be better patient care.

If you are interested in more info about TeamSTEPPS, be sure to visit www.teamstepps.ahrq.gov. There are great tools there for primary care and long term care as well.

Photo Courtesy of Health.mil


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