A Multidisciplinary Teamwork Training Program: The Triad for Optimal Patient Safety (TOPS) Experience

Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 01/2008; 23(12):2053-2057. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-008-0793-8

ABSTRACT INTRODUCTIONCommunication and teamwork failures are a common cause of adverse events. Residency programs, with a mandate to teach systems-based
practice, are particularly challenged to address these important skills.

AIMTo develop a multidisciplinary teamwork training program focused on teaching teamwork behaviors and communication skills.

SETTINGInternal medicine residents, hospitalists, nurses, pharmacists, and all other staff on a designated inpatient medical unit
at an academic medical center.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONWe developed a 4-h teamwork training program as part of the Triad for Optimal Patient Safety (TOPS) project. Teaching strategies
combined didactic presentation, facilitated discussion using a safety trigger video, and small-group scenario-based exercises
to practice effective communication skills and team behaviors. Development, planning, implementation, delivery, and evaluation
of TOPS Training was conducted by a multidisciplinary team.

PROGRAM EVALUATIONWe received 203 evaluations with a mean overall rating for the training of 4.49 ± 0.79 on a 1–5 scale. Participants rated
the multidisciplinary educational setting highly at 4.59 ± 0.68.

DISCUSSIONWe developed a multidisciplinary teamwork training program that was highly rated by all participating disciplines. The key
was creating a shared forum to learn about and discuss interdisciplinary communication and teamwork.

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