Improving Hospital Patient Safety Through Teamwork: The Use of TeamSTEPPS in CAHs (Policy Brief #21)


This brief, one in a series identifying and assessing evidence-based patient safety and quality improvement interventions appropriate for use by state Flex Programs and CAHs, reviews teamwork and team training which have become a standard, evidence-based intervention in small and larger hospitals alike. The focus is on TeamSTEPPS, a training program developed and disseminated by the Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Key Findings:

  • State Flex programs and CAHs have successfully adapted and used TeamSTEPPS to improve patient safety through team training.
  • The evidence indicates that team training increases communications and reduces error.
  • The success of TeamSTEPPS depends on having appropriate expectations and identifying and cultivating internal champions.
  • Building a patient safety infrastructure helps sustain teamwork.


Community Impact Patient Safety