As a leader in evidence-based learning techniques, AIR experts know that adults learn best when training is linked to their job or role; is relevant and applies to real-world tasks; takes their experience and knowledge into account; encourages their input, since they know best how they learn; and is motivating and enjoyable. When designing training and technical assistance for healthcare professionals, we leverage our expertise in evidence-based teamwork systems, such as a project for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Department of Defense to identify best practices for medical team training.

A major result of this partnership was the development of TeamSTEPPS®, or Team Strategies and Tools for Enhancing Performance and Patient Safety, a teamwork system based on lessons learned from high-reliability organizations in such fields as aviation, the military, and nuclear power. These types of organizations have conducted extensive research on how teams work, what makes them effective, and how to enhance their performance—findings directly relevant to healthcare, because delivering effective care requires teamwork. To address demand for guidance on implementing the TeamSTEPPs curriculum, AHRQ and the Department of Defense teamed with AIR to launch TeamSTEPPS nationally. Working with clinical and academic partners, such as the Carilion Clinic and Duke University Medical Center, AIR helped build a national corps of master TeamSTEPPS trainers.