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 key competencies of TeamSTEPPS®:

  • leadership
  • situation monitoring
  • mutual support
  • communication

A standardised approach through teamwork and communication to address the complexities of the healthcare system can have an instrumental role in reducing risk. TeamSTEPPS® supports teams to work dynamically and adaptively, to support shared goals, to become high-performing teams.

The model for delivering TeamSTEPPS® in South Australia is currently under review, with the aim of improving access, spread and the ongoing sustainability of the program.

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

Improvements seen after implementing TeamSTEPPS®

Sites that have implemented TeamSTEPPS® have reported improvement in the following areas:

  • patient safety culture
  • teamwork and relationships including attitudes towards teamwork and enhanced team behaviours
  • role definition and clarity
  • quality of communication and clinical handover, including structure of multidisciplinary team meetings
  • redistribution of clinical workloads and reduction in observed clinical errors
  • reduction in seclusion rates
  • reduction in incident reports related to falls, documentation and aggression
  • reduction (for example, 50% - 2.2 days to 1.1 days) in mean Intensive Care Unit (ICU) length of stay
  • compliance in timely prophylactic medication administration, reduction of adverse drug reaction and improved medication reconciliation at patient admission and discharge.

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

TeamSTEPPS® aligns with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) 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.


The following resources are available for sites that have already participated in the program and provide more information for sites considering participation in the future.

Education and training

A number of eLearning courses have been developed to assist staff in understanding how and why effective teamwork and communication is important. See the TeamSTEPPS® education and training page for more information on the available courses, including the skills you will develop. 


Kat Hite
Nurse Management Facilitator: Team Effectiveness
Phone: (08) 8222 0337


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