Journal Article
Review

A systematic review of teamwork in the intensive care unit: what do we know about teamwork, team tasks, and improvement strategies?

Dietz AS; Pronovost PJ; Mendez-Tellez PA; Wyskiel R; Marsteller JA; Thompson DA; Rosen MA.

Improving teamwork and communication is a continued focus in the hospital setting. This systematic review revealed that although studies of teamwork in the intensive care unit abound, the field lacks common definitions and constructs. Teamwork usually entailed joint strategy and shared goals, and quality improvement approaches to enhance teamwork typically involve team training and development of structured protocols. Many interventions target rounds, during which interdisciplinary providers discuss each patient, or handoffs between clinicians. The authors suggest that communication is the most prominent aspect of teamwork and propose further study in conceptualizing teamwork to design effective interventions. The heterogeneity in defining and measuring teamwork may account for mixed results in improving safety outcomes. An AHRQ WebM&M perspective describes the Veterans Health Administration's medical team training program.