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Triangular image with a circle inside showing the framework of TeamSTEPPS including Leadership, Situation Monitoring, Mutual Support, and CommunicationTeam Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is an evidence-based teamwork system designed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency in health care. The goal of TeamSTEPPS is to produce highly effective medical teams that optimize the use of information, people, and resources to achieve the best clinical outcomes for our patients. This system is designed to improve communication and other crucial teamwork skills among health care professionals in a variety of settings such as inpatient and outpatient environments. 

TeamSTEPPS was developed by the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program, in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. TeamSTEPPS is scientifically rooted in more than 20 years of research and lessons learned from the application of teamwork principles identified in Crew Resource Management (CRM) and within High Reliability Organizations.

TeamSTEPPS has a three-phased process aimed at creating and sustaining a culture of safety with:

  • A pretraining assessment for site readiness.
  • Training for onsite trainers and health care staff.
  • Implementation and sustainment.

TeamSTEPPS 2.0

The core curriculum has been updated and TeamSTEPPS 2.0, released by AHRQ in March 2014 is designed to help you develop and deploy a customized plan to train your staff in teamwork skills and lead a medical teamwork improvement initiative in your organization from initial concept development through to sustainment of positive changes.

The TeamSTEPPS 2.0 curriculum is an easy-to-use comprehensive multimedia kit that contains:

  • Instructional guides include short case studies and videos illustrating teamwork opportunities and successes.
  • Supporting materials include a pocket guide, CD-ROM and DVD, and evaluation tools.
  • Instructor and trainer workshop materials focus on change management, coaching, and implementation.

TeamSTEPPS 2.0 includes several significant changes:

  • A measurement module has been added that provides information about how to measure the impact of TeamSTEPPS and the available tools to support evaluation.
  • The communication module has been moved up in the order of instruction to better align with the emphasis on communicating early and often to improve teamwork.
  • The course management guide has been updated to include TeamSTEPPS modules and versions that have been added for the user's reference.

There are supplemental versions of TeamSTEPPS that are focused on working in the environments of primary care offices and long-term care environments. In addition, there is a module on "Enhancing Safety for Patients with Limited English Proficiency."

Training Curricula & Ready-to-Use Materials

For health care organizations that are interested in implementing TeamSTEPPS, numerous training curricula and ready-to-use materials are available. These include:

  • Multimedia Curriculum Kit (CD/DVD): AHRQ Pub. No. 14-0001-3
  • Instructor Guide: AHRQ Pub. No. 14-0001-1
  • Pocket Guide: AHRQ Pub. No. 14-0001-2
  • Dental Module: AHRQ Pub. No. 08(09)-JT88-CD

Printed TeamSTEPPS materials are available to order through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. AHRQ provides two methods for ordering these materials:

  1. Call 1-800-358-9295
  2. Send an e-mail message: 

MTFs and institutions already using TeamSTEPPS do not need to make any changes to their instruction methods, but can use the new streamlined materials as desired. Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality web site for additional information on TeamSTEPPS, TeamSTEPPS 2.0 or other available resources through AHRQ.

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