At the University of Maryland, Baltimore Fitzpatrick et al. (2021) asked that 12 nurses participate in a study to see if the TeamSTEPPS framework and Escape Room effected teamwork and overall collaboration with co-workers. TeamSTEPPS is an evidence-based set of tools and a training curriculum that strives to successfully integrate communication and teamwork principles within the healthcare system. TeamSTEPPS stands for Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety. The five key principles of TeamSTEPPS are: adaptability, accuracy, productivity, efficiency and safety. TeamSTEEPS occurs in three continuous phases: Phase 1: assessment; Phase 2: planning, training and implementation; and Phase 3: sustainment. There are five steps in order to implement TeamSTEPPS. First you create a change team, then you define the problem or opportunity for improvement. After that define the aim(s) of your TeamSTEPPS. Then design what the activity is going to be. Finally a plan will be developed to test the effectiveness of the TeamSTEPPS activity.
The 12 nurses were selected to complete two different escape rooms. They were randomly divided into Group A and Group B. Each group was given 60 minutes to complete the escape room as a team while observers completed the TeamSTEPPS assessment of the group. They were also observed in their natural work environment to see how they interacted with each other on a day to day basis. Weekly check-ins with their manager and assistant manager were conducted as well.
After completing the escape room they were asked to take a survey on their experience. The results are as follows; 75% of the participants strongly agreed that the escape room was fun and beneficial and 25% of the participants agreed. Over 90% of the nurses agreed or strongly agreed that the escape room was an effective team-building exercise and 100% of them would recommend the escape room experience to others. There was a significant statistical difference after TeamSTEPPS and escape room intervention. The Mean was 17.3 and 5.9. When the attitudes were compared to before and after the intervention, there was a more positive sense of teamwork.
The goal of the activity was to increase communication and create respectful bonds between co-workers. Being put into a high stress situation or environment can create rifts in the workplace and when working with a team. When working in a hospital it is important to be able to communicate well and effectively with your team. Being able to step away from the stress of the work environment can allow coworkers to let loose and learn to create stronger bonds. These fun experiences can help strengthen their friendships and work relationships. Using an escape room as a team bonding activity has a positive impact on work relationships and allows co-workers to trust each other more.
Fitzpatrick, S., Smith-Brooks, A., & Jones-Parker, H. (2021). Integration of TeamSTEPPS framework and escape room to improve teamwork and collaboration. Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice, 14(3), 233-243. https://doi.org/10.1891/JDNP-D-20-0005