Focus on Communication in TeamSTEPPS Surgical Safety Initiative
Springfield, OR — Improving communication among members of surgical teams has been shown to improve outcomes for patients. The surgical staff at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend has begun training in a nationally recognized surgical safety initiative designed to enhance operating room communication. Known as TeamSTEPPS, the program uses communications tactics such as call backs, handoffs, briefings and debriefings among all members of the surgical team to optimize clinical outcomes for patients.
“Lack of communication is the primary source of complications in operating room procedures,” said Andrea Halliday, MD, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center Patient Safety Officer. “The TeamSTEPPS system builds upon existing operating protocols with communication tactics that strengthen the team dynamic through verbal communication, engagement and the establishment of a shared mental model.”
TeamSTEPPS communications tactics foster dialogue and consistency through these basic practices:
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