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Creating a Culture of Safety in the Emergency Department: The Value of Teamwork Training

Jones, Florence DNP, RN, NEA-BC; Podila, Pradeep MHA, MS; Powers, Cynthia DNP, RN, BC, CNN

Journal of Nursing Administration: April 2013 - Volume 43 - Issue 4 - p 194–200
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e31828958cd

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine if teamwork training improved employees’ perception of the culture of safety in the emergency department.

BACKGROUND: Communication failure is frequently the root cause of medication errors, delays in treatment, and wrong-site surgery, leading to an estimated 200 000 deaths annually in the United States.

METHODS: Independent sample comparison study with a quantitative design was conducted with staff who received teamwork training. Posttraining perceptions were measured using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s patient safety culture survey.

RESULTS: The average score for the 12 domains increased by 9% in positive responses after training. One domain (nonpunitive response to error) had a decrease in the percentage positive score.

CONCLUSION: Training on teamwork skills can lead to a positive improvement of staff perception related to a culture of safety among emergency department staff.

Author Affiliations: ChiefNursing Officer (Dr Jones),Methodist South Hospital, Memphis; Decision Support, Data Specialist II, Division of Patient Safety and Quality (Mr Podila), Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Memphis; Associate Professor and Chair (Dr Powers), MSN Administration and Education Tracks, School of Nursing, Union University, Jackson, Tennessee.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Jones, 1300 Wesley, Memphis TN 38116 (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.