Prevalence and Perceptions of Team Training Programs for Pediatric Surgeons and Anesthesiologists.

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BACKGROUND: Team training programs adapt crew resource management principles from aviation to foster communication and prevent medical errors. Although multiple studies have demonstrated that team training programs such as TeamSTEPPS improve patient outcomes and safety across medical disciplines, limited data exist about their application to pediatric surgical teams. The purpose of this study was to investigate usage and perceptions of team training programs by pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists. We hypothesized that team training programs are not widely available to pediatric surgical teams.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed an online survey of Pediatric Surgery (General, Plastic, Urologic, Orthopedic, Otolaryngologic, and Ophthalmologic) and Anesthesiology members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The survey inquired about completion and perceptions regarding efficacy of team training programs. Simple descriptive statistics and a Student t-test were used to evaluate the data.

RESULTS: One hundred fifty-two pediatric surgeons and 12 anesthesiologists completed the survey with a 10% response rate. Over half of the respondents were general pediatric surgeons. Home institutions offered TeamSTEPPS or another crew resource management style team training program for 39% of respondents. Of those with a program, 77% of respondents had completed training. Although most (76%) who participated in team training programs did so by requirement, 90% found it helpful. Of the 61% of surgeons who said their institution did not offer team training programs, 60% said they would participate if one were offered and an additional 32% said they might participate. The biggest barriers to participation were not enough free time or that the team training program was not offered to their department.

CONCLUSIONS: Team training programs are considered beneficial among pediatric surgeons and anesthesiologists who have completed them. Unfortunately, despite substantial evidence showing training for team work improves team functioning and patient outcomes, many pediatric surgical teams do not have team training programs at their institutions. Further expansion of team training programs may be valuable to improving a culture of safety in children's hospitals.



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Medicine and Health Sciences | Pediatrics




Department of Pediatrics

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