Training teams for the perioperative environment: a research agenda.Surg Innov. 2006 Sep; 13(3):170-8.SI
A research agenda for investigating the impact of team-work training on patient safety in the perioperative environment is presented. The current status of teamwork training is reviewed briefly, and conclusions based on existing research are presented. We present a roadmap for future research on how teamwork training should be structured, delivered, and evaluated to optimize patient safety in the operating room. For teamwork skills to be assessed and have credibility, team performance measures must be grounded in team theory, account for individual and team-level performance, capture team process and outcomes, adhere to standards for reliability and validity, and address real or perceived barriers to measurement. The interdisciplinary nature of work in the perioperative environment and the necessity of cooperation among team members play an important role in enabling patient safety and avoiding errors. Teams make fewer mistakes than do individuals, especially when each team member knows his or her responsibilities, as well as those of other team members. However, simply installing a team structure without addressing the organizational context of care--the culture--does not automatically ensure it will operate effectively. Factors associated with the design of teamwork training, measures of training effectiveness, and the assessment process that should be explored in near-term work (1 to 2 years) are addressed. We also address the impact of the organizational environment, including the role of institutional support and culture, that need to be explored in longer term research (3 to 5 years).