A description of the “event manager” role in resuscitations: A qualitative study of interviews and focus groups of resuscitation participants

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Purpose:Communication during resuscitation is essential for the provision of coordinated, effective care. Previously, we observed 44% of resuscitation communication originated from participants other than the physician team leader; 65% of which was directed to the team, exclusive of the team leader. We called this outer-loop communication.Methods:This institutional review board–approved qualitative study used grounded theory analysis of focus groups and interviews to describe and define outer-loop communication and the role of “event manager” as an additional “leader.” Participants were health care staff involved in the medical management of resuscitations in a quaternary pediatric academic hospital.Results:The following 3 domains were identified: the existence and rationale of outer-loop communication; the functions fulfilled by outer-loop communication; and the leadership and learning of event manager skills. The role was recognized by all team members and evolved organically as resuscitation complexity increased. A “good” manager has similar qualities to a “good team leader” with strong nontechnical skills. Event managers were not formally identified and no specific training had occurred.Conclusions:“Outer-loop” communication supports resuscitation activities. An event manager gives direction to the team, coordinates activities, and supports the team leader. We describe a new role in resuscitation in light of structural organizational theory and cognitive load with a view to incorporating this structure into resuscitation training.HighlightsCommunication during resuscitation is essential for effective care.Significant proportions of communication in actual arrests do not involve the team leader. This communication is relevant to patient care and the resuscitation process. This role develops organically with experienced resuscitation and we call the event manager.This study seeks to describe the role and its responsibilities to inform a structured teaching program and incorporate it into our resuscitation team.

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