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

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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.


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.


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.


“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.

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