Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Effective communication among health care professionals is essential for the provision of quality patient-centered care; however, effective communication practices are not guided by evidence-based models in many health care organizations. The Joint Commission has estimated that most sentinel events are induced by miscommunication among health care professionals. The problem addressed in this project was poor and ineffective teamwork skills and general communication among health care professionals and a lack of formal models to guide effective communication among the healthcare team. The purpose of the project was to adapt TeamSTEPPS to an institutional context in order to improve health care team members' attitudes and perceptions about teamwork and create organizational expectations that encourage open communication among health care professionals. The outcomes relevant to this project include peer evaluation, self-evaluation, and HCAHPS scores. Development and planning was informed by a project team of interdisciplinary stakeholders (n = 6) who employed peer-reviewed literature and professional expertise to develop several products that adapt TeamSTEPPS to the institutional context. The stages of change theory was used to develop the products. The products include an implementation plan, an evaluation plan, and a sustainment plan. The context-specific implementation plan was produced to guide the institution in implementing the adapted program, and an evaluation plan was developed to inform evaluation of changes in the health care team and HCAHPS outcomes. A sustainment plan was also developed for long-term use in the institution. Improving attitudes and perceptions about teamwork and promoting effective communication is a first step in improving quality in hospitals to a wider audience, thus increasing the overall quality of care and facilitating social change.