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Ineffective communication is a leading cause of preventable harm. TeamSTEPPS® (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) is an evidence-based teamwork system aimed at optimizing patient outcomes by improving communication and other teamwork skills among healthcare professionals. It is rooted in over 50 years of research and lessons learned from the application of teamwork principles identified in Crew Resource Management and within High Reliability Organizations. TeamSTEPPS® serves as a foundational element for DOD staff in the delivery of safe care and has been leveraged to achieve various MHS strategic priorities, including: eliminating harm to patients, achieving high reliability and the aims of a learning organization, and promoting a culture of safety. The triangle shows the four teachable and learnable core skills of TeamSTEPPS®. Effective teams use these core skills to focus, drive for outcomes as they overcome barriers to care.

The System

TeamSTEPPS® is a systematic approach to effective communication and teamwork and utilizes three phases. The evidence shows that training alone typically has a very small impact on success. TeamSTEPPS® includes a readiness assessment, action plan, training, coaching, impact measurement of using the behaviors, and sustainment of progress. MTF staff from all ranks and roles have used TeamSTEPPS® tools and strategies to identify safety concerns.

TeamSTEPPS System with Phases

Continuing Education

Continuing education is available for physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, and administrators for various TeamSTEPPS® courses. MTF course coordinators may obtain CE through the Online Registration Center, a tool for registration as well as monitoring post-course evaluation, and disseminating CE. TeamSTEPPS® courses approved for CE and the number of hours approved per course are:

  • Train the Trainer: 13.75 hours
  • Train the Staff (Fundamentals: 3.5 hours
  • Train the Staff with Scenarios: 3.5 hours
  • Train the Staff with Simulation: 7 hours

TeamSTEPPS® Curriculum and Materials

TeamSTEPPS® consists of a collection of instructions, materials and tools to help drive a successful teamwork initiative from the initial planning to implementation through to sustainment. Several versions of the TeamSTEPPS® curriculum are available to meet the needs of diverse audiences.

  • All materials on the Patient Safety Learning Center are available to download, print, or copy as needed.

Ordering TeamSTEPPS® Materials

  • TeamSTEPPS materials are available for download on the Patient Safety Learning Center.

Annual TeamSTEPPS® Conference

The National Conference is a 2-day event sponsored by the American Hospital Association. DOD PSP facilitates a 1.5 day DOD Session. DOD has participated in the Annual Conference, since 2009. The purpose of both sessions are to provide opportunities for attendees to participate in educational offerings, networking, and community building. Military, federal, and civilian health care professionals and teamwork champions discuss innovations, lessons learned, and mitigation of barriers and challenges toward eliminating patient harm through teamwork. For information on attending the TeamSTEPPS® Conference, contact your service or market TeamSTEPPS® lead.

For more information on past TeamSTEPPS® conferences visit the PSLC:

  • 2019 Annual TeamSTEPPS® Conference
  • 2018 Annual TeamSTEPPS® Conference

The Annual TeamSTEPPS® Conference was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus.

Additional Resources

Resource Contact or Access Information
General Patient Safety Program information Email: DHA at:
Continuing Education Credit Email: DHA at:


  • Briefs and huddles
  • Debriefs
  • SBAR
Patient Safety Program Toolkits and Guides
Coaching Contact MTF or Market TeamSTEPPS® Point of Contact or email DHA at:
Last Updated: September 12, 2023
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