Team-Trained Staff Can Reduce Patient Deaths

Team training of health care employees can reduce patient mortality by 15%, according to a new study from Rice University, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the University of Central Florida, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, as noted in a press release from Rice University.

“Saving Lives: A Meta-Analysis of Team Training in Health Care” found that team training can also reduce medical errors by 19%. Team training is an instructional strategy aimed at improving team-based knowledge, skills, attitudes and problem-solving interactions. It focuses on developing coordination, cooperation, communication, leadership and other team-based skills. Team members train in specific roles while performing specific tasks and interact or coordinate to achieve a common goal or outcome, according to the press release.

The researchers reported that 19% of trainees had, in general, positive reactions to team training. (The remaining trainees were neutral on the topic.)

The group training also improved employees’ learning of new skills by 31% and on-the-job use of these skills by 25%. Financial outcomes of health care organizations were improved by 15%. Finally, team training was associated with a 34% improvement in clinical performance and 15% increase in patient satisfaction.

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