The Quick Reference Guide to TeamSTEPPS Action Planning

TeamSTEPPS® Long-Term Care Instructor Guide

TeamSTEPPS is a teamwork system developed jointly by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to improve institutional collaboration and communication relating to patient safety.

Step 1: Create a Change Team

To create a team of leaders and staff members with the authority, expertise, credibility, and motivation necessary to drive a successful TeamSTEPPS Initiative.

  • Ensure key leadership representation: senior leadership, frontline leadership.
  • Identify an executive sponsor.
  • Ensure key expertise representation: clinical/technical, resident care teamwork, process improvement, and trending techniques.

Step 2: Define the Problem, Challenge, or Opportunity for Improvement

To specifically state the problem, challenge, or opportunity for improvement that will be targeted by your TeamSTEPPS intervention; and to identify the involved process..

  • Identify a problem, challenge, or opportunity that you feel could be improved with enhanced resident care teamwork.
  • Identify the process during which the target problem, challenge or opportunity occurs by stating what the process is, who is involved, and when and where it occurs.

Step 3: Define the Aims of Your TeamSTEPPS Intervention

To succinctly state in measurable terms exactly what you hope to achieve with the TeamSTEPPS Intervention..

  • For each aim, state in one sentence in measurable terms what you hope will be achieved, who will be involved (whose behavior will change), and when and where the change will occur.
  • Ideally, define a team process aim, a team outcome aim, and a clinical outcome aim.

Step 4: Design a TeamSTEPPS Intervention

To design a TeamSTEPPS Intervention that will address your target problem, challenge or opportunity and achieve your stated aims..

  • Flowchart or map the process during which the problem, challenge, or opportunity occurs - write the process steps as they currently occur, identifying who is doing what, when, with what tools.
  • Study the process to identify risk points where things could go wrong and lead to a recurrence of the target problem.
  • Identify team strategies and tools (e.g., brief, huddle, debrief, STEP, SBAR, and I PASS the BATON) that would eliminate the risk points and prevent the problem from recurring.
  • Review the evidence-base, brainstorm, and elicit input from key personnel to design your TeamSTEPPS Intervention — state what team tools and strategies will be implemented and who will use them, when and where.
  • Flowchart the redesigned process as it will look with the intervention in place to identify potential benefits and negative effects.
  • Evaluate your intervention using the TeamSTEPPS Intervention Checklist, and then modify it if needed.

Step 5: Develop a Plan for Testing the Effectiveness of Your TeamSTEPPS Intervention

To develop a method to determine if your TeamSTEPPS Intervention achieved your aims. Did it work?.

For each aim, create a testing plan, including:

  • Change Team member responsible for data collection, analysis, and presentation
  • A measure and target ranges for the measure
  • Study design (usually pre- and post-intervention study)
  • Sample (study group) or data source with comparison group
  • Methods for data collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation.
  • Timelines for baseline and for postintervention data collection and analysis
  • Resources required

Step 6: Develop an Implementation Plan

Part A: To develop a plan for training your staff in the resident care teamwork knowledge, attitude, and skills necessary to successfully implement your TeamSTEPPS Intervention..

Part B: To develop a plan for putting your TeamSTEPPS Intervention into place.

Part A: Develop a Plan for Resident Care Team Training

  • Identify your instructors, your trainee audiences, and their specific training requirements. Determine who needs to be trained on what team knowledge/skills and by when in order to achieve your aims.
  • Develop a training plan for each trainee audience, including who will attend, what will be taught, when and where sessions will occur, and how training will be conducted (e.g., method of presentation, tools, supplies).
  • Use TeamSTEPPS training materials that will best meet your audiences' training needs.

Part B: Develop an Implementation Plan for the TeamSTEPPS Intervention

  • Ensure you have collected all baseline data before implementing the intervention.
  • Identify the person(s) responsible for implementation.
  • Determine how you will implement your intervention in order to achieve your aims. Identify who will use what team strategies and tools, when and where.
  • Create an implementation timeline.

Step 7: Develop a Plan for Sustained Continuous Improvement

To develop a plan for continuous process improvement with your TeamSTEPPS Intervention, including plans for on-going assessment of the effectiveness of the intervention, for sustainment of positive changes, and for identification of opportunities for further improvements..

  • Develop a monitoring plan for on-going assessment of intervention effectiveness including measures and target ranges; data source; methods for data collection, analysis, and use for continuous improvement; and person(s) responsible.
  • Develop a plan for sustaining and spreading positive changes including rewards, feedback, integration, on-going teamwork coaching, and sharing of lessons learned.

Step 8: Develop a Communication Plan

To create a communication plan targeting major stakeholders that will generate initial and on-going support for your TeamSTEPPS Initiative and promote the maintenance and spread of positive changes..

  • Identify persons or groups whose support will be important for achieving your intervention aims and for maintaining positive changes. Consider nursing home and frontline leaders, staff directly involved in the intervention, residents, families, and other units affected by the intervention.
  • Develop a communication plan for each identified group, including your goals for communication, as well as who will get the information, what information you will communicate, and when and how you will communicate it (e.g., reports, presentations, e-mails).
  • Identify Change Team member(s) responsible for implementation and oversight.

Step 9: Putting It All Together: Write the TeamSTEPPS Action Plan

To generate a written action plan, based on steps 1 through 8, that will function as your "how-to guide" for every component of your TeamSTEPPS Initiative..

If you completed each of the worksheets for steps 1 through 8, you have already written your TeamSTEPPS Action Plan. Ensure that your final action plan includes all the following:

  • Identification of the Change Team
  • Identification of the problem, challenge, or opportunity that will be targeted by the TeamSTEPPS Initiative
  • Stated aims of your TeamSTEPPS Intervention
  • Detailed description of your intervention
  • A plan for testing the effectiveness of your intervention
  • An implementation plan for both resident care team training and for your intervention
  • A monitoring plan for on-going assessment of the effectiveness of your intervention
  • A communication plan to generate support for the TeamSTEPPS Initiative and to promote maintenance and spread of positive changes
  • Timelines
  • Resources required

Step 10: Review Your TeamSTEPPS Action Plan With Key Personnel

To generate support and elicit ideas from major stakeholders and to identify barriers to program implementation..

  • Ask key stakeholders to review your action plan and to provide input. Request that they identify any potential problem areas and offer solutions.
  • Modify your action plan based on their input, as appropriate.

TeamSTEPPS Action Planning At a Glance

Text Description is Below the Image.  

Flowchart showing action planning. Ten steps: 1. Create a Change Team. 2. Define the Problem, Challenge or Opportunity for Improvement. 3. Define the Aim(s) of your TeamSTEPPS Intervention. 4. Define the TeamSTEPPS Intervention. 5. Develop the Plan for Testing the Effectiveness Of Your TeamSTEPPS Intervention. 6. Develop Implementation Plan. 7. Develop a Plan for Sustained Continuous Improvement. 8. Develop a Communication Plan. 9. Putting it All Together: Writing the TeamSTEPPS Action Plan. 10. Review Your TeamSTEPPS Action Plan with Key Personnel. Step 10 leads to another box stating 'Incorporate Feedback from Key Personnel', which then has an arrow pointing to Step 2. In Step 4 there is a feedback loop leading to a box with says 'Identify Priority Problem, Challenge or Opportunity from Step 2.'

Page last reviewed May 2013
Page originally created May 2013
Internet Citation: The Quick Reference Guide to TeamSTEPPS Action Planning. Content last reviewed May 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.