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Section: News

Covenant Health Implements TeamSTEPPS Training System


Covenant Health is starting to implement TeamSTEPPS in all procedural areas. TeamSTEPPS was developed by Department of Defense's Safety Program in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It is a teamwork training system designed for health care professionals.

"We are starting with our procedural areas such as the operating rooms, catheterization lab, endoscopy and radiology," said Brenda Kinning, the director of risk management and patient safety at Covenant Health. "Eventually we will include emergency and obstetrics. We ultimately hope to roll it out to our intensive care units and other patient care areas."

Covenant Health is not alone in this implementation. All of the St. Joseph Health ministries are utilizing the training system. According to the AHRQ, TeamSTEPPS provides higher quality, safer patient care. It also produces highly effective medical teams that optimize the use of information, people, and resources to achieve the best clinical outcomes for patients.

TeamSTEPPS also increases team awareness, clarifies team roles and responsibilities, resolves conflicts, improves information sharing, and eliminates barriers to both quality and safety. TeamSTEPPS trains health care professionals to speak up if they see or are aware of patient safety concerns.

Currently, Covenant Health is training physicians, nurses and technicians to become trainers. They will then go back and train the rest of the staff in the procedural areas. Some physicians have taken off from their practice to attend the training to become a trainer because they see the importance of TeamSTEPPS to improve patient safety.

TeamSTEPPS is a three phase process. The first phase is to assess the need. Covenant Health is at the second phase which is planning, training and implementation. The last phase is sustainment. Covenant Health's Dr. Rhyne is a trainer for TeamSTEPPS and is the executive sponsor.

About Covenant Health
Covenant Health System is the largest health care institution in the region with 1,326 licensed beds, more than 5,000 employees and a medical staff of more than 600 physicians at its cornerstone facilities.

Covenant is a member of St. Joseph Health System in Orange County and serves a 62-county area spanning West Texas and eastern New Mexico, with a population in excess of 1.2 million. Cornerstone hospitals are Covenant Medical Center, Covenant Women's and Children's and Covenant Specialty Hospital. Other system hospitals are Covenant Hospital Levelland and Covenant Hospital Plainview, along with 12 other affiliated hospitals across the region.

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