|N.D. hospitals focus on teamwork to ensure safe care for patients|
Fifteen hospitals in North Dakota are working to improve staff members’ communication skills in an effort to make care even safer for all of their patients. Hospital employees recently attended a specialized team training session in Bismarck that was designed to improve communications among doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and administrative staff who interact on a daily basis under fast-paced conditions.
The training, called TeamSTEPPS, is designed to help improve teamwork across the hospital and especially in urgent care areas such as the emergency department, operating room, and labor and delivery suites.
"Teamwork and communication are often the key factors in determining whether patients receive outstanding care or whether they don't,” said TeamSTEPPS trainer Katherine Jones, assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. “This training was designed to provide specific tools and strategies that can help hospitals improve communication within all clinical and non-clinical areas.
Fifteen hospitals from across North Dakota participated in the training, reflecting a statewide effort to implement this nationally recognized teamwork curriculum that was developed in 2006 by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Department of Defense. The training was sponsored by the Center for Rural Health at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, North Dakota Health Care Review, Inc., and the AHRQ.
According to Jody Ward, quality improvement network coordinator at the UND Center for Rural Health, Minot, those employees who participated in the training will work with other hospital staff to implement TeamSTEPPS’TM strategies and tools.
“Similar to an investment in new technology or construction, this training is an investment in staff that will improve the coordination and quality of patient care.”
Facilities that participated in the training included: Altru Clinic-Lake Region and Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake; Tioga Medical Center; Garrison Memorial Hospital; Sakakawea Medical Center, Hazen; Medcenter One, Bismarck; Heart of America Medical Center, Rugby; Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital; Innovis Health, Fargo; Cooperstown Medical Center; Wishek Community Hospital; Presentation Medical Center, Rolla; Southwest Healthcare Services, Bowman; North Dakota Health Care Review, Inc., Minot; St. Andrews Health Center, Bottineau; Jacobson Memorial Hospital, Elgin; Altru Health System and the UND Center for Rural Health, Grand Forks.
The Institute of Medicine’s 1999 report, To Err Is Human, identified poor teamwork and faulty communication as major sources of preventable medical errors and called for interdisciplinary team training programs to promote patient safety.
For more information about the TeamSTEPPS program, please visit http://www.ahrq.gov/teamstepps/
-- Wendy Opsahl, Communications Coordinator, Center for Rural Health, email@example.com, 777-0871