Team Training in the Perioperative Arena: A Methodology for Implementation and Auditing Behavior

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Preventable medical errors in the operating room are most often caused by ineffective communication and suboptimal team dynamics. TeamSTEPPS is a government-funded, evidence-based program that provides tools and education to improve teamwork in medicine. The study hospital implemented TeamSTEPPS in the operating room and merged the program with a surgical safety checklist. Audits were performed to collect both quantitative and qualitative information on time out (brief) and debrief conversations, using a standardized audit tool. A total of 1610 audits over 6 months were performed by live auditors. Performance was sustained at desired levels or improved for all qualitative metrics using χ2 and linear regression analyses. Additionally, the absolute number of wrong site/side/person surgery and unintentionally retained foreign body counts decreased after TeamSTEPPS implementation.

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