Introduction: Ineffective healthcare teamwork skills and communication are associated with medical errors and poor outcomes. To improve patient safety, there is an increased emphasis on interprofessional (IP) team training. Investigators used simulation to develop and evaluate a patient safety program to increase IP communication in pre-licensure and post licensure health care professionals.
Methods: A convenience sample medical and nursing students were randomized into IP teams of 4-5 participants. Participants received pre-reading materials one week prior to the simulation. Each team participated in a 2.5 hour simulation session consisting of 3 mannequin simulations each followed by a facilitator lead 20 minute standardized debriefing session. Three instruments were administered pre and post-training to examine patient safety knowledge, attitudes, teamwork and communication skills. To assess attitudes toward team communication, the Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) Teamwork Attitudes Questionnaire (TAQ) developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) was administered. The second instrument was the Attitudes, Motivation, Utility and Self-Efficacy (AMUSE) tool which assesses AMUSE toward IP skills and was developed by the University of Washington’s Center for Health Science Interprofessional Education, Research and Practice. Knowledge of patient safety/team communication skills was measured using a 10 question multiple choice pre/posttest developed by an interdisciplinary team of patient safety experts. Team performance was evaluated using a developed team performance checklist.
Results: Over a period of 7 months, a total of 94 participants have completed the program. Complete data has been collected on 92 participants. Results of the knowledge pre/posttest revealed there was a statistically significant increase in the knowledge of patient safety/team communication from the pretest (M=7.13, SD=1.58) and the posttest (M=8.02, SD=1.52) at p=.000. Greatest improvements in knowledge were noted in understanding team skills and team communication tools such as call outs, huddle, and “CUS”. Significant differences were also noted in the TAQ (p=.000) and AMUSE (p=.000) scores. Review of team performance revealed a statistically significant increase in communication scores between groups.
Conclusions: Increases in attitudes regarding teamwork, knowledge of team process and communication skills were noted. Evidence supports the participants had increases in attitudes, motivation, and utility regarding IP simulation training. Observer review of team performance revealed and increase in the mean team communication scores. Findings suggest a simulated patient safety program can be used to increase knowledge and team skills regarding IP communication.
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