Teamwork Takes Hold to Improve Patient Safety

February 1, 2005 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended teamwork training as one approach to reducing the medical errors identified in its report To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Fast forward to 2005 and the healthcare industry is buzzing with teamwork-related terms like "human factors applications," "culture change," "situation awareness," "crew resource management," and many others.

The focus on teamwork was evident at the 2004 American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM) annual conference this past October, where at least six exhibitors showcased products and services aimed at teamwork training, culture change consulting, and reliability-related educational programming. Several speakers also focused on this topic.

Healthcare Risk Control (HRC) System members also report that teamwork training is slowly catching on. While less than a third of respondents to a November 2004 HRC fax poll reported that they currently provide teamwork training to employees, more than half of those who do not said they have plans to provide teamwork training in the next year. Additional results are reported in Teamwork Training Catching on Slowly. In short, IOM's recommendation for teamwork...

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