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Teamwork and minimizing error 

Teamwork and minimizing error
Teamwork and minimizing error

Alan F. Merry

and Jennifer M. Weller

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date: 19 September 2020

Cardiothoracic surgery is complex, demanding and high risk. Effective teamwork and communication across extended clinical pathways are required for successful outcomes. Failures in teamwork and communication are common preventable factors in the genesis of adverse events in cardiac surgery and even minor deviations from planned care appear to be predictive of major problems.Standardization of process promotes high-reliability in complex organizations, while idiosyncratic variation inhibits teamwork and shared mental models.A common vision and purpose, and shared organizational commitment to exceptional, high-quality care are characteristics of high-performing hospitals. Teamwork can be improved through checklists, team briefings and debriefs, and simulation-based training. The Flawless Operative Cardiovascular Unified Systems project of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists aims for harm-free cardiac surgery, through good teamwork and communication.For best outcomes we further recommend developing patient-centred, multi-professional units with democratic leadership, shared mental models for patient care, mutual respect between professional groups, and regular training in skills for effective communication.

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