Medical Team Training Improves Team Performance: AOA Critical Issues

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Effective teamwork and communication can decrease medical errors in environments where the culture of safety is enhanced. Health care can benefit from programs that are based on teamwork, as in other high-stress industries (e.g., aviation), with crew resource management programs, simulator use, and utilization of checklists. Medical team training (MTT) with a strong leadership commitment was used at our institution to focus specifically on creating open, yet structured, communication in operating rooms. Training included the 3 phases of the World Health Organization protocol to organize communication and briefings: preoperative verification, preincision briefing, and debriefing at or near the end of the surgical case. This training program led to measured improvements in job satisfaction and compliance with checklist tasks, and identified opportunities to improve training sessions. MTT provides the potential for sustainable change and a positive impact on the environment of the operating room.

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