Teamwork and quality during neonatal care in the delivery room

J Perinatol. 2006 Mar;26(3):163-9. doi: 10.1038/


Objective: Experts believe good teamwork among health care providers may improve quality. We sought to measure the frequency of team behaviors during delivery room care and to explore how these behaviors relate to the quality of care.

Study design: We video recorded neonatal resuscitation teams then used independent observers to measure teamwork behaviors and compliance with Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) guidelines (a measure of quality of care).

Results: Observer agreement was either fair or good for all teamwork behaviors except workload management, vigilance, and leadership, for which agreement was slight. All teams (n=132) exhibited the behaviors information sharing and inquiry, and all but one team exhibited vigilance and workload management. Other behaviors were present less often: assertion in 19.9% of teams, teaching 16.7%, leadership 19.7%, evaluation of plans 12.9%, and intentions stated 9.1%. Factor analysis identified three fundamental components of teamwork: communication (comprised of information sharing and inquiry); management (workload management and vigilance); and leadership (assertion, intentions shared, evaluation of plans, and leadership). All three components were weakly but significantly correlated with independent assessments of NRP compliance and an overall rating of the quality of care.

Conclusion: Most team behaviors can be reliably observed during delivery room care by neonatal resuscitation teams, and some are infrequently used. We found weak but significant and consistent correlations among these behaviors with independent assessments of NRP compliance and an overall rating of the quality of care. These findings support additional efforts to study team training for delivery room care and other areas of healthcare.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Delivery Rooms
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Leadership
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Pregnancy
  • Probability
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Total Quality Management*
  • United States