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A quick guide to teamwork and communication - ViewTeamwork and Communication: Safety Improvement Project – An 18-month learning collaborative

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute launched a Safety Improvement Project in 2019, focused on teamwork and communication. This 18-month learning collaborative approach is supported by expert faculty and mentorship of coaches. A Knowledge Translation and Quality Improvement Integrated approach to learning guides and empowers participating teams to actively solve local level teamwork and communication issues that impact patient safety outcomes.

Participating teams are:

  • Learning how to think differently about teamwork and communication.
  • Identifying local level patient safety and quality outcome(s) and processes to be improved.
  • Testing and implementing evidence-informed change ideas to improve patient safety using TeamSTEPPS Canada™ tools and resources.
  • Sharing and using advanced patient safety knowledge, tools, and resources within a learning network.
  • Improving their team's approach to patient safety while taking action to deliver safer care.
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What is TeamSTEPPS?

TeamSTEPPS is a teamwork system program developed jointly by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to improve institutional collaboration and communication relating to patient safety. TeamSTEPPS Canada™ has been adopted and adapted by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) and made available to the Canadian healthcare field.

The following image illustrates the TeamSTEPPS Framework. A properly structured patient care team is an enabler for and the result of effective communication, leadership, situation monitoring, and mutual support. Proper team structure can promote teamwork by including a clear leader, involving the patient, and ensuring that all team members commit to their roles in effective teamwork. Communication is the lifeline of a well-functioning team and serves as a coordinating mechanism for teamwork. 

The image is described above.