Effects of a multicentre teamwork and communication programme on patient outcomes: results from the Triad for Optimal Patient Safety (TOPS) project.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Focused efforts to enhance teamwork and communication have led to improved safety culture, though the impact on clinical outcomes is mixed. This multicenter study evaluated the impact of a series of teamwork and communication interventions over a 2-year period. The interventions included a teamwork training program, the development of unit-based safety teams, and patient engagement through daily goals and whiteboard use. Although a related study demonstrated that the interventions led to improved safety culture, this study found no impact on readmission rates or length of stay. Interviewing patients both during and after hospitalization, investigators found that patients perceived greater team function, but that they also perceived more safety gaps. This raises the possibility that patients' heightened awareness regarding patient safety and teamwork may lead them to identify more flaws in the system.