Introduction: In today’s team-oriented healthcare environment, high-quality patient care requires physicians to possess not only medical knowledge and technical skills but also crisis resource management (CRM) skills. In emergency medicine (EM), the high acuity and dynamic environment makes CRM skills of physicians particularly critical to healthcare team success. The Accreditation Council of Graduate Medicine Education Core Competencies that guide residency program curriculums include CRM skills; however, EM residency programs are not given specific instructions as to how to teach these skills to their trainees. This article describes a simulation-based CRM course designed specifically for novice EM residents.
Methods: The CRM course includes an introductory didactic presentation followed by a series of simulation scenarios and structured debriefs. The course is designed to use observational learning within simulation education to decrease the time and resources required for implementation. To assess the effectiveness in improving team CRM skills, two independent raters use a validated CRM global rating scale to measure the CRM skills displayed by teams of EM interns in a pretest and posttest during the course.
Results: The CRM course improved leadership, problem solving, communication, situational awareness, teamwork, resource utilization and overall CRM skills displayed by teams of EM interns. While the improvement from pretest to posttest did not reach statistical significance for this pilot study, the large effect sizes suggest that statistical significance may be achieved with a larger sample size.
Conclusion: This course can feasibly be incorporated into existing EM residency curriculums to provide EM trainees with basic CRM skills required of successful emergency physicians. We believe integrating CRM training early into existing EM education encourages continued deliberate practice, discussion, and improvement of essential CRM skills.