Toward a definition of teamwork in emergency medicine

Acad Emerg Med. 2008 Nov;15(11):1104-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2008.00250.x. Epub 2008 Oct 1.


The patient safety literature from the past decade emphasizes the importance of teamwork skills and human factors in preventing medical errors. Simulation has been used within aviation, the military, and now health care domains to effectively teach and assess teamwork skills. However, attempts to expand and generalize research and training principles have been limited due to a lack of a well-defined, well-researched taxonomy. As part of the 2008 Academic Emergency Medicine Consensus Conference on "The Science of Simulation in Healthcare," a subset of the group expertise and group assessment breakout sections identified evidence-based recommendations for an emergency medicine (EM) team taxonomy and performance model. This material was disseminated within the morning session and was discussed both during breakout sessions and via online messaging. Below we present a well-defined, well-described taxonomy that will help guide design, implementation, and assessment of simulation-based team training programs.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Communication
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration
  • Emergency Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Models, Organizational
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / standards
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Triage