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Medical Team Training: Applying Crew Resource Management in the Veterans Health Administration

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Abstract:

Background: Communication failure, a leading source of adverse events in health care, was involved in approximately 75% of more than 7,000 root cause analysis reports to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS).

Methods: The VA NCPS Medical Team Training (MTT) program, which is based on aviation principles of crew resource management (CRM), is intended to improve outcomes of patient care by enhancing communication between health care professionals. Unique features of MTT include a full-day interactive learning session (facilitated entirely by clinical peers in a health care context), administration of pre-and postintervention safety attitudes questionnaires, and follow-up semistructured interviews with reports of program activities and lessons learned.

Results: Examples of projects in these facilities include intensive care unit (ICU) teams' patient-centered multidisciplinary rounds, surgical teams' preoperative briefings and debriefings, an entire operating room (OR) unit's adoption of "Rules of Conduct" for expected staff behavior, and an ICU team's use of the model for daily administrative briefings.

Discussion: An MTT program based on applied CRM principles was successfully developed and implemented in 43 VA medical centers from September 2003 to May 2007.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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