What Is the Return on Investment for Implementation of a Crew Resource Management Program at an Academic Medical Center?

Am J Med Qual. Jan/Feb 2017;32(1):5-11. doi: 10.1177/1062860615608938. Epub 2016 Jul 9.


Crew Resource Management (CRM) training has been used successfully within hospital units to improve quality and safety. This article presents a description of a health system-wide implementation of CRM focusing on the return on investment (ROI). The costs included training, programmatic fixed costs, time away from work, and leadership time. Cost savings were calculated based on the reduction in avoidable adverse events and cost estimates from the literature. Between July 2010 and July 2013, roughly 3000 health system employees across 12 areas were trained, costing $3.6 million. The total number of adverse events avoided was 735-a 25.7% reduction in observed relative to expected events. Savings ranged from a conservative estimate of $12.6 million to as much as $28.0 million. Therefore, the overall ROI for CRM training was in the range of $9.1 to $24.4 million. CRM presents a financially viable way to systematically organize for quality improvement.

Keywords: crew resource management; medical errors; organizational change; patient safety; quality improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers / economics
  • Academic Medical Centers / organization & administration*
  • Academic Medical Centers / standards
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration*
  • Leadership
  • Models, Econometric
  • Organizational Culture*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Quality Improvement / economics
  • Quality Improvement / organization & administration*
  • Quality Improvement / standards
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Safety Management / economics
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • Safety Management / standards