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Nursing Home Safety Training Program Pilot Launches

Over the past forty years or so, the military, pilots, healthcare providers and firefighters have adopted core training protocols designed to improve communication and teamwork. In the process of learning these protocols, members of these industries have improved their safety records and decision-making skill sets. The latest industry to launch a similar core training protocol is the nursing home care industry. It is hoped that members of this caring profession will achieve similarly positive results as have been reached in the past by other professions.

The media has recently become increasingly focused on the phenomenon of nursing home negligence and abuse. In reporting on these issues specifically, the media has educated the public about how often these tragedies occur and in what capacity. In addition, the media has educated the public about glaring safety gaps plaguing nursing home care facilities and how these safety issues affect patients.

The new training protocol pilot program for the nursing home care industry is called TeamSTEPPS for Long-Term Care. It is currently being developed and piloted in one state but will soon be rolled out nationally. One of the program’s developers recently explained that, “We know communication is a major issue in errors – that people tend to work in silos. We think if we can help to change that culture, there’s an opportunity to improve patient safety in nursing homes.”

Nursing home facilities behave like communities. By improving teamwork among caregivers and communication both among caregivers and patients, patient safety will hopefully improve in dramatic ways.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, “CT Pilots Patient Safety Program for Nursing Homes,” Lisa Chedekel, July 19, 2013