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Journal Article > Study
Sexton JB, Thomas EJ, Helmreich RL. BMJ. 2000;320:745-749.
This study describes self-reported perceptions of teamwork among operating room and intensive care unit staff as well as those of an airline cockpit crew. In the medical setting, investigators discovered tremendous variation in teamwork perceptions that followed traditional hierarchies. While surgical attendings and residents rated teamwork high, anesthesiology attendings rated it lower, as did surgical nurses and anesthesia residents in decreasing order. The authors also note that discussing errors seems to be a greater challenge in medicine than in aviation, which may derive from the fact that aviation participants acknowledged that fatigue and stress negatively impact job performance. While the findings draw only from survey results and make no connection to actual errors in practice, they do generate support for a safety culture in medicine similar to that of the aviation field.
Tools/Toolkit > Multi-use Website
Washington, DC: Department of Defense. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2016.
Effective teamwork plays an essential role in providing safe patient care. The Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) program was developed in collaboration by the United States Department of Defense and AHRQ in order to support effective communication and teamwork in health care. This updated version of the widely implemented program provides new tools to measure its impact, supports increased emphasis on the role of effective communication in team training, and includes a new course management guide. Teamwork training programs have been shown to improve knowledge and attitudes, but have received mixed reviews on their effectiveness in changing behaviors. An AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed how improved teamwork and shared decision-making might have prevented the unnecessary placement of a peripherally inserted central catheter that led to significant complications.
Journal Article > Study
Association of the 2011 ACGME resident duty hour reforms with mortality and readmissions among hospitalized Medicare patients.
Patel MS, Volpp KG, Small DS, et al. JAMA. 2014;312:2364-2373.
This observational study sought to determine whether the ACGME 2011 duty hour reforms led to changes in 30-day mortality or readmissions for several medical diagnoses—acute myocardial infarction, stroke, acute gastrointestinal bleed, or congestive heart failure—and for general, orthopedic, or vascular surgery. The authors examined how hospital teaching status, which they defined using resident-to-bed ratio, affected outcomes for these conditions. This measure provides insight into the intensity of teaching at a given institution rather than defining each hospital as teaching versus nonteaching. During the study time period, although readmissions and mortality both declined overall, this decrease did not differ based on teaching status, suggesting that the improvement in readmissions and 30-day mortality is not attributable to duty hour reform. These results are consistent with prior work following the 2003 duty hour reforms which has failed to demonstrate benefit to patient outcomes from costly duty hour reforms. An editorial discussing this work and a companion study urge flexibility in duty hours for physicians in training.