[Crew resource management and simulator training in acute stroke therapy]

Nervenarzt. 2016 Dec;87(12):1322-1331. doi: 10.1007/s00115-016-0162-5.
[Article in German]


Background: Time is of critical importance in acute stroke management. The establishment of thrombectomy now adds to the complexity and interdisciplinarity of the initial phase. In non-medical high-fidelity situations, such as aviation, crew resource management (CRM) has proven to be highly efficient. It has therefore also been implemented in professional cardiovascular life support training. In a setting where every minute counts, CRM and regular training of the high-fidelity stroke team could offer ways to improve treatment of acute stroke patients.

Objectives: We evaluated the effects of a CRM-based stroke team with regular simulation training on the quality of care (e.g. door to needle time and thrombolysis rate) as well as on staff satisfaction and perceived patient safety in the emergency department of a tertiary care neurocenter.

Material and methods: We implemented a dedicated stroke team consisting of 7 persons who are notified by a collective call via speed dial and conceived a simulator-based team training for all new stroke team members which we conduct at monthly intervals. We recorded door to needle times of all consecutive patients, staff satisfaction in the emergency room and the acceptance of this new learning format.

Results: This approach led to a relevant and sustained reduction of the mean door to needle time to less than 30 min. It improved perceived patient safety in residents with professional experience of less than 2 years. There was a very high acceptance within the stroke team training and staff and its usefulness was judged to be very high.

Conclusion: Even though our data do not allow positive effects on patient outcomes to be inferred, the implementation of a CRM-based stroke team and simulator training has had multiple positive effects on the workflow and work satisfaction in the treatment of acute stroke patients.

Keywords: Patient safety; Simulation; Stroke; Thrombolysis; Training.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Germany
  • High Fidelity Simulation Training / methods*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Resuscitation / education*
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*