Using TeamSTEPPS to Expand Interdisciplinary Communication, Joint Effort, and Collaboration in the Operating Room

Jordan Rakeva, University of San Francisco


The objectives of my Internship Project were based on improving care to all of our surgical patients. Our OR has 23 operating rooms and 17 suites for interventional procedures where surgical patients with different backgrounds, ages, and different stages of morbidity and mortality come for surgical interventions (Hospital Anonymous).

Our core processes were identified through process maps; fishbone diagrams, SWOT analysis, team training, protocols, and algorithms. Results displayed a statistically significant growth in antibiotic timing from 81% to 92%, antibiotic selection from 90% to 95%, and antibiotic discontinuation within 24 hours from 83% to 91% (Hospital Anonymous).

Teamwork Perception Questionnaire (Appendix A, Table 2) to measure the awareness of our teamwork and teaching was conducted during huddles, time out, and debriefings. Lewin’s model of change was used to implement my plan as the provider and manager of care. Improving communication in OR has an important nursing relevance to safe patient care (Appendix A, Table 1).

In conclusion, the results achieved from the TeamSTEPPS training are only as strong as the effort of applying the concepts to the organization. To achieve the greatest results, there has to be support from our leadership and buy-in from our staff. The use of the debriefing tool provided data for future analysis and continuous process improvement.