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New TeamSTEPPS program tackles safety & communication issues in LTC

July 23, 2013
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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Connecticut’s new long-term care training program is modeled on the safety and decision-making protocols of some formidable examples—including air-traffic controllers, firefighters and the military.

The TeamSTEPPS program, created as a training curriculum for maintaining teamwork, safety and adept decision-making in dangerous, stressful or high-risk fields, has been adaped for use in hospitals, but Connecticut’s program, TeamSTEPPS for Long-Term Care, will be the first in the country designed specifically for nursing homes and other long-term care environments.

Much Connecticut’s LTC version of the program is safety-oriented, giving everyone in the care chain the ability to voice concerns about possible lapses in care, possible medication errors or problems in care coordination. The program dovetails with initiatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to remove communication silos within the healthcare delivery system, including during resident transfers between acute care and long-term care.

Connecticut’s Medicare quality improvement organization, Qualidigm, plans to launch the TeamSTEPPS for Long-Term Care program this fall, with hopes of offering the program as a model for other LTC organizations across the country.

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