Team training: implications for emergency and critical care pediatrics

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Purpose of review

The field of team training is quickly evolving and data are emerging to support the close relationship between effective teamwork and patient safety in medicine. This paper provides a review of the literature on team training with specific emphasis on the perspectives of emergency and critical care pediatricians.

Recent findings

Errors in medicine are most frequently due to an interaction of human factors like poor teamwork and poor communication rather than individual mistakes. Critical care settings and those in which patients are at the extremes of age are particularly high-risk, making emergency and critical care pediatrics a special area of concern. Team training is one approach for reducing error and enhancing patient safety. Currently, there is no single standard for team training in medicine, but multiple disciplines, including anesthesiology, emergency medicine and neonatology, have adapted key principles from other high-reliability industries such as aviation into crisis resource management training.


Team training holds promise to improve patient safety in pediatric emergency departments and critical care settings. We must carefully delineate the optimal instructional strategies to improve team behaviors and combine these with rigorous outcomes assessment to diagnose team problems and prescribe targeted solutions, and determine their long-term impact on patient safety.

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