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Medical team training and coaching in the veterans health administration; assessment and impact on the first 32 facilities in the programme
  1. Julia Neily,
  2. Peter D Mills,
  3. Pamela Lee,
  4. Brian Carney,
  5. Priscilla West,
  6. Katherine Percarpio,
  7. Lisa Mazzia,
  8. Douglas E Paull,
  9. James P Bagian
  1. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, White River Junction, Vermont, USA
  1. Correspondence toJulia Neily, VAMC (11Q), 215 North Main Street, White River Junction, VT 05009, USA; Julia.neily{at}


Background Communication is problematic in healthcare. The Veterans Health Administration is implementing Medical Team Training. The authors describe results of the first 32 of 130 sites to undergo the programme. This report is unique; it provides aggregate results of a crew resource-management programme for numerous facilities.

Methods Facilities were taught medical team training and implemented briefings, debriefings and other projects. The authors coached teams through consultative phone interviews over a year. Implementation teams self-reported implementation and rated programme impact: 1=‘no impact’ and 5=‘significant impact.’ We used logistic regression to examine implementation of briefing/debriefing.

Results Ninety-seven per cent of facilities implemented briefings and debriefings, and all implemented an additional project. As of the final interview, 73% of OR and 67% of ICU implementation teams self-reported and rated staff impact 4–5. Eighty-six per cent of OR and 82% of ICU implementation teams self-reported and rated patient impact 4–5. Improved teamwork was reported by 84% of OR and 75% of ICU implementation teams. Efficiency improvements were reported by 94% of OR implementation teams. Almost all facilities (97%) reported a success story or avoiding an undesirable event. Sites with lower volume were more likely to conduct briefings/debriefings in all cases for all surgical services (p=0.03).

Conclusions Sites are implementing the programme with a positive impact on patients and staff, and improving teamwork, efficiency and safety. A unique feature of the programme is that implementation was facilitated through follow-up support. This may have contributed to the early success of the programme.

  • Healthcare quality improvement
  • communication
  • teamwork
  • safety culture
  • crew resource management

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  • Funding This work is based upon work supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This project was considered exempt from further review by the Dartmouth comittee for the Protection of Human Subjects.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.