• Review
  • Published September 1999

The potential for improved teamwork to reduce medical errors in the emergency department.

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This article aims to introduce emergency department communities to teamwork systems, teamwork failures that commonly occur, and the consequences of identified failures. Discussion includes retrospective analysis of more than 50 incidents suggesting that nearly nine teamwork failures occur per case. The teamwork model presented is an overview of the system created by the MedTeams Project, a translational research project based on a successful aviation model. Team dimensions, behaviors, and activities are described in detail. The authors conclude that the potential benefits of teamwork may not only prevent events that lead to malpractice cases but also improve the quality of emergency care.

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