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AHA Team Training. September 22 -- November 17, 2022.
The TeamSTEPPS program was developed to support effective communication and teamwork in health care. This online series will prepare participants to guide their organizations through implementation of the TeamSTEPPS program. It is designed for individuals that are new to TeamSTEPPS processes. 

Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General. January 5, 2021. Report No. 20-01521-48.

 

This investigation examined care coordination, screening and other factors that contributed to a patient death by suicide shortly after discharge from a Veteran’s Hospital. Event reporting, disclosure and evaluation gaps were identified as process weaknesses to be addressed. 

AHA Team Training.
 

The COVID-19 crisis requires cooperation and coordination of organizations and providers to address the persistent challenges presented by the pandemic. This on-demand video collection reinforces core TeamSTEPPS; methods that enhance clinician teamwork and communication skills to manage care safety during times of crisis. 

de Bienassis K, Llena-Nozal A, Klazinga N for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris, France: OECD Publishing; 2020. OECD Health Working Papers, No. 121.

Adverse events in long term care facilities are acerbated due to staffing, training and financial challenges. This report examined the costs of avoidable problems in long term care and suggests prevention strategies that center on workforce skill development and safety culture improvement.
Simpkin AL, Murphy Z, Armstrong KA. Diagnosis (Berl). 2019;6:269-276.
Whether or not word selection during handoffs affects clinician anxiety and diagnostic uncertainty remains unknown. In this study involving medical students, researchers found that use of the word "hypothesis" compared to the word "diagnosis" when describing a hypothetical handoff from the emergency department to the inpatient setting was associated with increased self-reported anxiety due to uncertainty.
Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality.
Improving teamwork and communication is a continued focus in the hospital setting. This toolkit is designed to help organizations create a culture that embeds teamwork into daily practice routines. Topics covered include team leadership, learning and continuous improvement, clarifying roles, structured communication, and support for raising concerns.
Pronovost P, Johns MME, Palmer S, et al, eds. Washington, DC: National Academy of Medicine; 2018. ISBN: 9781947103122.
Although health information technology was implemented to improve safety, it has resulted in unintended consequences such as clinician burnout and perpetuation of incorrect information. This publication explores the barriers to achieving the interoperability needed to build a robust digital infrastructure that will seamlessly and reliably share information across the complex system of health care. The report advocates for adjusting purchasing behaviors to focus less on the price and features of each product and to instead look for interoperable technologies. The report outlines five action priorities to guide leadership decision-making around procurement, including championing systemwide interoperability and identifying goals and requirements. A PSNet interview discussed potential consequences of the digitization of health care.
Kitto S, Marshall SD, McMillan SE, et al. J Interprof Care. 2015;29:340-6.
Clinical staff often fail to call rapid response teams to evaluate deteriorating patients, even when objective criteria for calling the team are met. This qualitative study of physicians and nurses at an Australian hospital found that an impaired culture of safety can result in failure to use the rapid response team when appropriate and can also lead to using the team as a workaround to compensate for poor interdisciplinary communication.
Hewitt M, Hernandez LM; Roundtable on Health Literacy, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Institute of Medicine. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2014. ISBN: 9780309303651.
Health literacy can affect patients' ability to understand directions, ask good questions, and participate in care. Framing health literacy as a public health challenge, this report describes efforts to address it in three states and explores implementation and research to improve it across the United States.
Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; September 2015.
The TeamSTEPPS program was developed to support effective communication and teamwork in health care. This curriculum offers training for participants to implement TeamSTEPPS in their organizations. The course includes evidence reviews, trainer guidance, measurement tools, and a pocket guide for frontline staff.
Kizer KW, Jha AK. N Engl J Med. 2014;371:295-297.
In response to a recent investigation raising concerns about inaccurate reporting of wait-time data, this commentary relates barriers to improving patient safety, such as overuse of performance measures. The authors describe approaches to augment safety, such as narrowing down performance measures to address the most significant concerns and engaging private health care organizations in improvement projects.
BMJ Qual Saf. 2011;22.
Silence and poor communication are known threats to patient safety. Despite efforts to promote teamwork and develop shared tools for communication, there are persistent gaps between nurse and physician practices. This study surveyed nurses and physicians working in labor and delivery units and discovered significant differences in their perceptions of patient harm associated with various clinical scenarios. These differences in patient harm ratings were the greatest predictor of speaking up, suggesting that differences in clinical assessment may serve as a useful target for intervention. The authors discuss the negative impact of environments where mental models are not shared, conflict is poorly managed, and disruptive behaviors stifle open communication. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed a case of "silence" when members of the operating room team were reluctant to speak up to a senior surgeon.
Rivera-Rodriguez AJ, Karsh B-T. Qual Saf Health Care. 2010;19:304-312.
The majority of individual errors are due to failure to perform automatic or reflexive actions. A major risk factor for these "slips" is being interrupted or distracted while performing a task. This review examined the literature on the incidence, risk factors, and effects of interruptions in several clinical settings, ranging from outpatient clinics to the operating room. Although distractions are common and may be associated with increased risk for error, particularly if they occur during medication administration or signout, the authors point out that many interruptions may be necessary to communicate urgent clinical information. They argue for complexity theory–based research to delineate the harmful and beneficial aspects of interruptions, rather than for interventions that seek to simply eliminate interruptions. Checklists have been widely adopted as a means of preventing errors of omission, which may be precipitated by interruptions.
Pandhi N, Schumacher J, Flynn KE, et al. Health Expect. 2008;11:400-8.
Discontinuity is an unfortunate but inevitable reality of medical care, as no clinician can be available around the clock. This study surveyed geriatric patients to examine patients' perceptions of discontinuity in the outpatient setting. Although a relatively small proportion of patients reported that they would feel unsafe if seeing someone other than their primary physician, those who did report concerns tended to have more complex medical problems. This feeling may be well founded, as a recent study documented that communication between providers caring for the same patient is often poor. The safety effects of discontinuity have been most studied in the hospital, and strategies have been developed to improve the transmission of information between inpatient providers.
Sharma R, Kostis WJ, Wilson AC, et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23:1865-70.
This study found that more than half of physicians surveyed engaged in questionable documentation practices, such as recording information that they did not personally obtain or writing notes on patients not seen or examined. The findings raise concern about professionalism broadly but also about the current educational environment for trainees, role modeling of documentation behaviors, and the greater impact of billing and medical-legal influences on documentation practices. These changing factors may in part explain why the findings also suggest that questionable practices were more common among younger providers, who may be a product of the changed environment outlined in recent years.