The impact of aviation-based teamwork training on the attitudes of health-care professionals

J Am Coll Surg. 2004 Dec;199(6):843-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2004.08.021.


Background: Both the Institute of Medicine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality suggest patient safety can be enhanced by implementing aviation Crew Resource Management (CRM) in health care. CRM emphasizes six key areas: managing fatigue, creating and managing teams, recognizing adverse situations (red flags), cross-checking and communication, decision making, and performance feedback. This study evaluates participant reactions and attitudes to CRM training.

Study design: From April 22, 2003, to December 11, 2003, clinical teams from the trauma unit, emergency department, operative services, cardiac catheterization laboratory, and administration underwent an 8-hour training course. Participants completed an 11-question End-of-Course Critique (ECC), designed to assess the perceived need for training and usefulness of CRM skill sets. The Human Factors Attitude Survey contains 23 items and is administered on the same day both pre- and posttraining. It measures attitudinal shifts toward the six training modules and CRM.

Results: Of the 489 participants undergoing CRM training during the study period, 463 (95%) completed the ECC and 338 (69%) completed the Human Factors Attitude Survey. The demographics of the group included 288 (59%) nurses and technicians, 104 (21%) physicians, and 97 (20%) administrative personnel. Responses to the ECC were very positive for all questions, and 95% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed CRM training would reduce errors in their practice. Responses to the Human Factors Attitude Survey indicated that the training had a positive impact on 20 of the 23 items (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: CRM training improves attitudes toward fatigue management, team building, communication, recognizing adverse events, team decision making, and performance feedback. Participants agreed that CRM training will reduce errors and improve patient safety.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Aerospace Medicine*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Fatigue / therapy
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Safety