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Understanding Interdisciplinary Health Care Teams: Using Simulation Design Processes From the Air Carrier Advanced Qualification Program to Identify and Train Critical Teamwork Skills

Hamman, William R. MD, PhD; Beaudin-Seiler, Beth M. MPA; Beaubien, Jeffrey M. PhD

doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e3181bfd7ba
Original Articles

In the report Five Years After to Err is Human, it was noted that "the combination of complexity, professional fragmentation, and a tradition of individualism, enhanced by a well-entrenched hierarchical authority structure and diffuse accountability, forms a daunting barrier to creating the habits and beliefs of common purpose, teamwork, and individual accountability for successful interdependence that a safe culture requires". Training physicians, nurses, and other professionals to work in teams is a concept that has been promoted by many patient safety experts. However the model of teamwork in healthcare is diffusely defined, no clear performance metrics have been established, and the use of simulation to train teams has been suboptimal. This paper reports on the first three years of work performed in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Tri-Corridor life science grant to apply concepts and processes of simulation design that were developed in the air carrier industry to understand and train healthcare teams. This work has been monitored by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAA) and is based on concepts designed in the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) from the air carrier industry, which trains and assesses teamwork skills in the same manner as technical skills. This grant has formed the foundation for the Center of Excellence for Simulation Education and Research (CESR).

From the *Western Michigan University, Battle Creek, Michigan; and †Aptima, Inc. Woburn, Massachusetts.

Correspondence: William R. Hamman, MD, PhD, Western Michigan University, College of Aviation, 237 North Helmer Road, Battle Creek, MI 49037, 269-964-7850 (e-mail:

Funding for this research effort was generously provided by grants from The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Battle Creek Unlimited, and The Forest Park Foundation. The views presented in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their sponsoring organizations.

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