A teamwork model to promote patient safety in critical care

Gwen Sherwood, Eric Thomas, Debora Simmons Bennett, Patricia Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


To create a safe health care system, providers must understand teamwork as a complementary relationship of interdependence. Continuing efforts to adopt the aviation model will enable health care providers to examine the role of human performance factors related to fatigue, leadership, and communication among all providers. The aviation model provides a basis for designing teamwork programs to reduce error and introduces human factor principles and key skills to be learned. Health care providers need explicit instruction in communication and teamwork rather than learning by trial and error, which can instill unintended values, attitudes, and behaviors. The growing research base continues to examine the problem of health care safety and to test the most effective team training approaches. What is the most effective pattern and timing of communication among providers? What system level changes are needed in the critical care area to improve communication through teamwork and thus create a safer health care system? What are potential points of error in the daily operation that could be alleviated through effective teamwork? Continuing to test the model will ultimately change patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-340
Number of pages8
JournalCritical Care Nursing Clinics of North America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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