Evaluation of Team STEPPS training in Skilled Nursing Facilities




Ross, Sarah
Severance, Jennifer
Agena, Valerie
Oderberg, Jane


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Purpose Skilled nursing facilities (SNF) face many challenges in providing safe and competent care to a frail population. Surveys of SNF staff reveal poorer levels of safety culture compared to their hospital counterparts. Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is an evidence-based interprofessional training program designed to teach tool to promote teamwork, communication, and patient safety. Implementation of TeamSTEPPS has led to improvements in patient safety culture in hospital settings, but there is a lack of evidence of benefit of TeamSTEPPS in SNF. Method Our research team adapted the TeamSTEPPS curriculum for implementation at two area SNF. We conducted three TeamSTEPPS training sessions to direct care staff (n=139). The trainings were delivered between October 2017 and June 2018. Focus group sessions comprised of the direct care staff (n=119) were then conducted at each facility between August and September 2018. The questions asked focused on staff perception on using communication tools, the training program itself, and feedback on program improvements. The comments from each of the sessions were than categorized to overarching themes. Results Thematic analysis of responses resulted in six major themes, communication, accountability, leadership/authority, implementation of the training, need for training and burn out. A majority of the comments from both facilities focused on the implementation of the training, communication, and accountability. Staff comments about the training implementation were positive and that they enjoyed the delivery method of the training and were able to apply the training to practice. Staff acknowledged that the communication tool led to improvements in communication between the staff from different shifts. Staff members also noted that they became more aware of their own roles and accountability to patient safety. Conclusion TeamSTEPPS training was well received by the direct care staff, and there were reports of improved communication and safety awareness. We anticipate that as direct care staff at SNF use TeamSTEPPS tools a positive impact will be seen on patient safety culture. Considerations for implementation of TeamSTEPPS tools in SNF requires a tailored approach. Barriers to success include high turnover in both leadership and direct care staff.