Creating a Culture of Teamwork

Released: 11/19/2010

TeamSTEPPS is working


Terry Brown, 20 years in environmental services at WCHOB (to the left) celebrates with Ellen Eckhardt, RN, 27 years in nursing at WCHOB.

Terry Brown, environmental services aide at WCHOB, is quick to tell you about his experience with TeamSTEPPS. “I feel like I can say whatever is on my mind and people will listen to me.”  Asked if this is important to him, he replies, “It makes me want to come to work and do my best.”

Ellen Eckhardt, RN, is a staff nurse on the pediatric ICU and another advocate for Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS).  She adds, “To have a physician stand in front of the team in a pre-rounds briefing and state her commitment to safety and inviting conversation from others, is powerful.  It flattens the hierarchy and opens up two-way communication.”

Terry and Ellen have very different jobs at Women & Children’s, but a similar goal: providing the best patient care by working together.  Both respect what the other does.  “Terry is a pillar on our team and we can rely on him 100%,” states Ellen. “He is a quiet leader.”  Because of his team’s support, Terry says he would not hesitate to lend his voice in pursuit of patient safety.

When asked if he thinks his 4-hour training has helped him and the team, he says, “We’re really talking to each other and moving in the same direction.  I feel good about it.”

At the end of the day it’s all about the patient,  their experience, and positive outcomes.  According to Ellen, “First and foremost, I feel that because of TeamSTEPPS, we are providing safer care.”

TeamSTEPPS is a teamwork system designed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care. This system, created by the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program, is designed to optimize patient outcomes by improving communication and other teamwork skills among health care professionals.  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 their patients.

HAVE AN IDEA?
This project started with Ellen having an idea.  If you have an idea, let’s hear it.