Use of High-Fidelity Simulation to Enhance Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Reduce Patient Falls

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This pilot study aimed to determine the effect of nurse/physician interdisciplinary team training on patient falls. Specifically, we evaluated team training in a simulation center as a method for targeting and minimizing breakdowns in perceptions of respect, collaboration, communication, and role misunderstanding behaviors between care disciplines.


Registered nurses (RNs) were randomly assigned to participate. Residents were divided into groups and assigned based on their availability and clinical responsibility. All participants completed a demographic form, the Professional Practice Environment Assessment Scale (PPEAS), and the Mayo High Performance Teamwork Scale (MHPTS) after consenting and before participation in simulation training. The PPEAS and the MHPTS were readministered at 2 and 6 months after the simulation experience. Differences in MHPTS and PPEAS scores between the baseline and 2- and 6-month assessments were analyzed; fall rates over time were evaluated using Cochran-Armitage trend tests.


After the team training exercises, teamwork as measured by the MHPTS improved significantly at both 2 and 6 months (P = 0.01; P < 0.001) compared with baseline measurement. Practice environment subscores, with the exception of positive organizational characteristics, also increased when measured 6 months after training. The primary outcome, reduction in anticipated patient falls, improved significantly (P = 0.02) over the course of the study.


Results of this pilot study show that team training exercises result in improvement in both patient safety (anticipated patient falls) and team member perception of their work environment. If validated by other studies, improvement in this patient safety metric would represent an important benefit of simulation and team training.

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