A study published in the American Journal of Medical Quality has found that crew resource management (CRM) is one way to improve the perception of a culture of safety by hospital employees.

CRM is a training program that came from the airline industry and focuses on team communication, leadership, and decision-making practices.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centeris an academic medical center with more than 1,300 beds. Two years after implemented CRM at its six hospitals and two campuses, employees' perceptions of the organization's patient safety culture showed improvement.

Training consisted of day-long retreats where leaders and staff developed CRM safety tools such as checklists and standard protocols.

There was also role-playing around conflict management, respectful cross-checking, and assertive statements. System-wide internal monitoring processes were developed to evaluate adoption and use of safety tools as well as the occurrence of avoidable events.

In 2011, the AHRQ's Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture was given to all employees before CRM implementation. In 2013, after receiving CRM training and using its concepts for about two years, employees were reassessed and reported: 

  • A 9% increase in organizational learning/continuous improvement
  • A 9% increase in frequency of mistakes reported, enabling employees to address potential safety issues
  • An 8% increase in communication openness
  • A 6% increase in teamwork within departments
  • A 4% increase in teamwork across departments

Source: HealthLeaders Media News