A specialist training programme called TeamSTEPPS developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) and the Department of Defense, combined with other interventions, has contributed to a significant reduction in medical errors and preventable adverse events among hospitalized children.
That is according to an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The study, which examined an intervention involving 84 resident physicians and 1,255 patient admissions in 2009 and 2010 on two inpatient units at Boston Children’s Hospital, found that errors decreased from 33.8 to 18.3 per 100 admissions.
The abstract and article, titled “Rates of Medical Errors and Preventable Adverse Events Among Hospitalized Children Following Implementation of a Resident Handoff Bundle,” credited a “handoff bundle” with improvements in verbal and written handoff processes that helped to prevent errors.
TeamSTEPPS, developed jointly by AHRQ and the Department of Defense, was one of the programs used to create the Boston Children’s handoff bundle.
TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based teamwork system aimed at optimizing patient outcomes by improving communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals. It includes a comprehensive set of ready-to-use materials and a training curriculum to successfully integrate teamwork principles into any health care system.
“Implementation of a handoff bundle was associated with a significant reduction in medical errors and preventable adverse events among hospitalized children. Improvements in verbal and written handoff processes occurred, and resident workflow did not change adversely,” the study’s authors concluded.
TeamSTEPPS, AHRQ, Department of Defense, Boston Children’s Hospital