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In the summer of 2015, after experiencing reportable events in our procedural areas in the preceding few months, we decided to take a good look at our approach to patient safety. In doing so, our stakeholders began to interview companies who utilize a variety of patient safety tools. 

We found LifeWings, a team of physicians, nurses, pilots, astronauts and Toyota-trained Lean experts helping health care institutions improve their culture of safety with the best practices of TeamSTEPPS, Aviation (Crew Resource Management) and Lean. We made the decision to partner with LifeWings, and began our work together in August 2015 focusing on the peri-operative areas of both campuses and Deaconess Comprehensive Pain Management locations.

Within a few months, we created a TeamSTEPPS steering team to make program decisions and assure that support was available for all future efforts toward patient safety at Deaconess.

The steering team is made up of administrators, physicians, nurse managers, quality professionals and other ad hoc members rotating in as the concepts are phased into new areas. This is a journey to change the culture at Deaconess and the fundamental principles are the foundation for all other improvement methodologies we already use such as Lean and Six Sigma. Additionally, the principles are to be used in everyday communication between staff at all levels.  

TeamSTEPPS Philosophy

Our common duty is to protect every Deaconess patient from harm by communicating effectively, thinking critically, and using teamwork consistently, with professionalism and mutual respect.


Sue Sheridan video on patient safety - TeamSTEPPS training video

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