TeamSTEPPS Virtual Teams: Interactive Virtual Team Training and Practice for Health Professional Learners
Medical errors because of communication failure are common in health care settings. Teamwork training, such as Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS), improves team performance and patient outcomes. Academic institutions seek high-quality, low-cost curricula for interprofessional education (IPE) to prepare learners for clinical experiences before and after graduation; however, most IPE curricula involve lectures, simple tabletop exercises, and in-person simulations and are not readily accessible to geographically distributed and asynchronously engaged learners. To address this need, interprofessional faculty from multiple institutions and specialties created a series of eight screen-based interactive virtual simulation cases featuring typical clinical situations, with the goal of preparing learners to provide safe and effective care in clinical teams. Virtual simulations permit flexible, asynchronous learning on the learner's schedule and allow educators an opportunity to identify gaps in knowledge and/or attitudes that can be addressed during class or forum discussions. In 2016, 1,128 unique users accessed the scenarios. As a result of such virtual activities, learner selection of the appropriate TeamSTEPPS tool increased with progression through the scenarios.