Paul Barach, B.Sc., MD, MPH, Maj. (ret.)
visiting professor van het UMC Utrecht Kenniscentrum Patiëntveiligheid
Teams and team training in healthcare:
Do they make healthcare safer?
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Much of health care is performed by interdisciplinary teams – individuals with diverse specialized skills focused on a common task in a defined period of time and space, who must respond flexibly together to contingencies and share responsibility for outcomes. Traditional specialty centric clinical education and training are remiss because they assume that individuals acquire adequate competencies in teamwork passively without any formal training. Performance incentives in health care are targeted at individuals, and not at teams, as are job and other selection and assessment processes. With a few exceptions, risk management and liability data, morbidity and mortality conferences, and even quality improvement projects have not systematically addressed systems factors or teamwork issues. Substantial evidence suggests that teams routinely outperform individuals and are required to succeed in today’s complex work arenas where information and resources are widely distributed, technology is becoming more complicated, and workload is increasing. What is this evidence and how can these lessons be incorporate into healthcare training?
Paul Barach is a board-certified practicing Anesthesiologist, with fellowship training in Cardiac Anesthesia, Critical Care medicine and human factors, at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School where he trained and practiced. He has worked extensively with the World Health Organization, and the UK National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) in advancing patient safety and quality improvement initiatives. He has been involved in designing simulation and team training for the last 5 years, he is lead consultant to the Department of Defense Healthcare Division /TRIcare patient safety program and helps guide the efforts on team training. He now is working as a visiting professor at the Center for Patient Safety, Utrecht University Medical Center.