Safety briefings are one of the key tools of the TeamSTEPPs concept. After assessing all their assigned patients, near the beginning of each nursing shift each floor's nursing staff and other personnel gather for a five- to 10-minute discussion covering all patients. Besides nurses and nurse managers, the briefings also can include secretaries, social workers, case managers, elder life specialists and even physicians.
The idea, says Linda Mimm, R.N., D.L., the Center for Safety and Quality's liaison for some floors, the idea is to get everyone "on the same page" so that every member of the team is aware of what is occurring.
The briefings cover each patient's condition, including such issues as which patients are at increased risk for falls, mental confusion or pressure ulcers, and which patients might be placed in isolation due to a potentially infectious disease. The briefings also allow:
- Quick reviews of equipment and supply issues.
- Updates on safety issues.
- Discussions of bed flow issues, such as expected admissions, discharges and transfers.
By the end of each briefing, all of the staff knows each other's name - an important aspect of building stronger health care teams - and all of the staff is alert to each patient's particular needs.