Communication 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.
To develop a multidisciplinary teamwork training program focused on teaching teamwork behaviors and communication skills.
Internal medicine residents, hospitalists, nurses, pharmacists, and all other staff on a designated inpatient medical unit at an academic medical center.
We 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.
We 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.
We 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.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0793-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
KEY WORDS: teamwork, communication, patient safety, multidisciplinary, hospital