The Golden Opportunity: Multidisciplinary Simulation Training Improves Trauma Team Efficiency

J Surg Educ. 2019 Jul-Aug;76(4):1116-1121. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2019.01.003. Epub 2019 Jan 31.


Objective: Every trauma patient has a golden hour, and resuscitation efficiency within that hour has large implications for patients. We instituted simulation based trauma resuscitation training with the hypothesis that it would improve trauma team efficiency.

Methods: Five simulation training sessions were conducted with immediate debriefing. Metrics collected in actual trauma resuscitations before and after simulation training included time of primary and secondary surveys and time to computed tomography (CT) scan. Study participants were from multidisciplinary specialties involved in trauma resuscitations as well as former trauma patients from the Trauma Survivors Network.

Results: Seventy-three patients undergoing trauma resuscitations were screened and 67 patients were included. Time to CT scan and secondary survey completion were significantly reduced in actual trauma patient activations following implementation of the curriculum (reduction of 23 to 16 minutes for CT scan p < 0.05, and reduction from 14 to 6 minutes for secondary survey, p < 0.05). Time to primary survey completion did not change (5 minutes).

Conclusions: Multidisciplinary simulation training was associated with improved trauma team efficiency in the form of reduced assessment time. As emergency department length of stay is an independent predictor of hospital mortality following trauma activation, team-based simulation training has the potential to improve patient outcomes. Multidisciplinary involvement was a key factor, and Trauma Survivors Network involvement brought credibility from the patient perspective.

Keywords: Interpersonal and Communication Skills; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; emergency medicine; in situ; multidisciplinary; simulation; training; trauma surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / education*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient Simulation
  • Quality Improvement
  • Simulation Training*
  • Time Factors
  • Time-to-Treatment
  • Trauma Centers*
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Treatment Outcome*