Journal Article

Can aviation-based team training elicit sustainable behavioral change?

Sax HC; Browne P; Mayewski RJ; Panzer RJ; Hittner KC; Burke RL; Coletta S.

As a means of improving safety, many institutions are implementing teamwork training programs, often based on aviation industry principles. However, the effectiveness of these programs remains in question, partly because little research has examined the effect of teamwork training on actual safety behaviors. In this study, operating room (OR) personnel at two hospitals participated in a one-day, aviation-based training exercise, which emphasized OR teamwork centered around implementation of a surgical safety checklist. The training program resulted in sustained improvement in safety culture and near-universal use of the checklist. The differences and similarities between aviation and medical team training were also discussed in an AHRQ WebM&M interview in 2006. An accompanying editorial [see link below] discusses the study’s findings and other drivers that may provide solutions to improving safety.