TeamSTEPPS® 2.0 AU

Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS®) is an evidence-based program designed to improve teamwork and communication leading to a culture of continuous improvement and patient safety. Teamwork and communication is improved by practicing the four teamwork competencies of TeamSTEPPS®:

  • Leadership
  • Situation monitoring
  • Mutual support
  • Communication.

The healthcare system is complex. Standardising the approach to teamwork and communication can assist in addressing these complexities and have an instrumental role in reducing risk. TeamSTEPPS® supports teams to work dynamically and adaptively, to support shared goals and to become high performing teams.

TeamSTEPPS® was developed by the United States Department of Defense and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality and is delivered / conducted in Australia under licence.

The model for delivering TeamSTEPPS® in South Australia has recently been reviewed to improve access and ongoing sustainability of the program. The program is now delivered in a blended learning model that combines e-learning courses with local face-to-face activities supported by a Facilitation Guide.

Improvements seen after implementing TeamSTEPPS®

To date, sites that have implemented TeamSTEPPS® have reported improvements in the following areas:

  • Patient safety culture
  • Teamwork and relationships including attitudes towards teamwork and enhanced team behaviours1.
  • Role definition and clarity2.
  • Quality of communication and clinical handover, including structure of multidisciplinary team meetings2.
  • Redistribution of clinical workloads and reduction in observed clinical errors1-2.
  • Reduction in seclusion rates2.
  • Reduction in incident reports related to falls, documentation and aggression3.
  • Reduction (50% - 2.2 days to 1.1 days) in mean ICU length of stay4.
  • Compliance in timely prophylactic medication administration, reduction of adverse drug reaction and improved medication reconciliation at patient admission and discharge5-6.

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

TeamSTEPPS® aligns with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. When implemented and embedded in culture, TeamSTEPPS® assists in the provision of evidence of compliance with these required and valuable national safety and quality measures and promotes a safety and quality culture.


  • A TeamSTEPPS® 2.0 AU Fact Sheet (PDF 113KB) provides a brief outline of TeamSTEPPS®, including the Change Model.
  • Eleven TeamSTEPPS® e-learning courses are available for SA Health staff participating in TeamSTEPPS®. Seven of these are foundation courses aimed at all staff and an additional four courses are designed for Quality Improvement Team members supporting the implementation of TeamSTEPPS®.
  • E-learning courses can be accessed by SA Health employees through the Women’s and Children’s Health Network digital media platform.
  • E-learning courses are designed to be used in conjunction with locally run face-to-face activities.
  • The implementation of TeamSTEPPS® is supported by a TeamSTEPPS® Facilitation Guide.

Further information is available for SA Health staff on the SA Health Intranet.


1. Morey J, Simon R, Jay G, Wears R, Salisbury M, Dukes K et al. Error Reduction and Performance Improvement in the Emergency Department through Formal Teamwork Training: Evaluation Results of the MedTeams Project. Health Serv Res. 2002;37(6):1553-1581.

2. Stead K, Kumar S, Schultz T, Tiver S, Pirone CJ, Adams RJ, Wareham CA. Teams communicating through STEPPS. The medical journal of Australia. 2009;190(11):S128-132.

3. Safety and Quality Unit. TeamSTEPPS®: Teamwork and Communication: Outcomes in South Australia. Department of Health. FIS: 10006.4. 2011.

4. Pronovost P, Gerenholtz S, Dorman TLK, Lipsett PA, Simmonds T, Haraden C. Improving communication in the ICU using daily goals. Journal of Critical Care. 2003; 18(2):71-75.

5. Award SS, Fagan SP, Bellows C, Albo D, Green-Rashad B, De la Garza M, Berger DH. Bridging the communication gap in the operating room with medical team training. American Journal of Surgery. 2005;190(5):770-774.

6. Haig KM, Sutton S, Whittington J. SBAR: A shared mental model for improving communication between clinicians. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality Patient Safety. 2006;32(3):167-175.


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