Crisis resource management among strangers: principles of organizing a multidisciplinary group for crisis resource management

J Clin Anesth. 2000 Dec;12(8):633-8. doi: 10.1016/s0952-8180(00)00223-3.


Patient safety depends on the skills, vigilance, and judgment of trained individuals working as members of a clinical team that includes anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, and technicians. Now, as never before, safe outcome depends both on better knowledge and better management. This requires organization of caregivers, who may be strangers from diverse disciplines, into teams. One can drill an individual to work safely alone. One can rehearse a series of scenarios with small groups (who regularly work together) to improve performance. But what does one do with an unrehearsed group, called together in an emergency from several different disciplines, usually including Anesthesia. These people may not know each other, their roles, their special skills, and may even be hazy about each other's goals. Rapid organization of such an ad hoc team becomes a critical priority where patient safety is at stake. The way by which such an ad hoc team from several disciplines can rapidly be helped to function effectively together is by teaching all the "strangers" the principles of Crisis Resource Management. These principles are not as well-presented in a written text or lecture format, as one cannot introduce the sense of urgency that emotionally charges and changes the impact. We believe the best teacher is experience gained in a realistic simulated environment using a model driven, full human simulator. This simulated environment is safe for both patient and trainee.

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*