This week’s post comes from the monthly CRM Newletter produced by Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, FL. Memorial is ranked as the 6th best place to work in health care by Modern Healthcare magazine. The article, reproduced here in it entirety was written by Dr. William Perryman, Chief of Cardiac Surgical Services at MHS. Dr. Perryman’s article will give you a sense of why Memorial is such a great place to work.
“Performing pediatric cardiac surgery in a foreign country with a support team from a variety of centers can sometimes be challenging to get everyone on the same page. This is a similar situation to that often faced by airline crews and was the genesis for the development of Crew Resource Management (CRM).
On a recent trip to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Hospital in Jamaica, we had the opportunity to use CRM during surgery for 7 children having complex cardiac surgery. The OR team had surgeons, anesthesiologists, perfusionists, OR nurses, residents and students from Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Florida Shands Hospital and host UWI Hospital.
The equipment that we used was, at times, different from case to case and different from MRH (Memorial Regional Hospital). The perfusionists were using whatever cannulae they could find and anesthesia was using drugs, sometimes, with different names than they were used to in US. I was operating with a different faculty member each day or a resident.
As you can imagine, this is a very similar scenario to airline crews who arrive for a flight on equipment that may vary, with a flight crew who have never flown together before and a cabin crew who face the same challenge.
CRM allowed all present to understand each component of the operation, what adaptation might be needed and what specific “stuff” would be required for that particular child. CRM proved to be an excellent solution to an ever-changing operating room scenario and allowed us to leave with all children safely managed through their operations and returned to delighted and grateful parents. CRM also provided a template that could be continued after our departure.”
Dr. Perryman is correct. Airline pilots frequently fly with other pilots and flight attendants whom they have never met before, and with aircraft mechanics, dispatchers, and air traffic controllers whom they have never worked with before.
The Captain of the flight has just a few moments to create an effective team that utilizes expert communication and collaboration skills to detect, catch, and correct the inevitable small mistakes and errors humans make before those mistakes become serious or fatal. The blueprint for creating this expert team from a group of aviation experts is crew resource management (CRM).
As Dr. Perryman’s experience clearly shows, CRM is the blueprint for even widely disparate, international medical experts to creat an expert medical team. If CRM can work in that environment, it can work anywhere.