Developing Expert Medical Teams: Toward an Evidence-based Approach
Current health care literature cites communication breakdown and teamwork failures as primary threats to patient safety. The unique, dynamic environment of the emergency department (ED) and the complexity of patient care necessitate the development of strong interdisciplinary team skills among emergency personnel. As part of the 2008 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference on ‘‘The Science of Simulation in Healthcare,’’ our workshop group identified key theory and evidence-based recommendations for the design and implementation of team training programs. The authors then conducted an extensive review of the team training literature within the domains of organizational psychology, aviation, military, management, and health care. This review, in combination with the workshop session,formed the basis for recommendations and need for further research in six key areas: 1) developing and refining core competencies for emergency medicine (EM) teams; 2)leadership training for emergency physicians (EPs); 3) conducting comprehensive needs analyses at the organizational, personnel, and task levels; 4) development of training platforms to maximize knowledge transfer; 5) debriefing and provision of feedback; and 6) proper implementation of simulation technology. The authors believe that these six areas should form an EM team training research platform to advance the EM literature, while leveraging the unique team structures present in EM to expand team training theory and research.