OBJECTIVES Teamwork and interprofessional team training are fundamental to ensuring the continuity of care and high-quality outcomes for patients in a complex clinical environment . Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is an evidence-based team training programme intended to facilitate healthcare professionals' teamwork skills . The aim of this study is to describe healthcare professionals' experiences with teamwork in a surgical ward before and during the implementation of a longitudinal interprofessional team training programme .
DESIGN A qualitative descriptive study based on follow-up focus group interviews .
SETTING A combined gastrointestinal surgery and urology ward at a hospital division in a Norwegian hospital trust .
PARTICIPANTS A convenience sample of 11 healthcare professionals divided into three professionally based focus groups comprising physicians (n=4), registered nurses (n=4) and certified nursing assistants (n=3).
INTERVENTIONS The TeamSTEPPS programme was implemented in the surgical ward from May 2016 to June 2017 . The team training programme included the three phases: (1) assessment and planning, (2) training and implementation and (3) sustainment .
RESULTS Before implementing the team training programme, healthcare professionals were essentially satisfied with the teamwork skills within the ward . During the implementation of the programme, they experienced that team training led to greater awareness and knowledge of their common teamwork skills . Improved teamwork skills were described in relation to a more systematic interprofessional information exchange, consciousness of leadership-balancing activities and resources, the use of situational monitoring tools and a shared understanding of accountability and transparency .
CONCLUSIONS This study suggests that the team training programme provides healthcare professionals with a set of tools and terminology that promotes a common understanding of teamwork, hence affecting behaviour and communication in their daily clinical practice at the surgical ward .
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER ISRCTN13997367.