Teamwork in the Intensive Care Unit

Ervin, J. N., Kahn, J. M., Cohen, T. R., Weingart, L. R. Teamwork in the intensive care unit, American Psychologist, 2018, Forthcoming

Collaboration and Teamwork in Psychological Science, edited by Eduardo Salas and Susan McDaniel, Special Issue, Forthcoming

29 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2017

See all articles by Jennifer Ervin

Jennifer Ervin

University of Pittsburgh

Jeremy M. Kahn

University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine

Taya R. Cohen

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Laurie R. Weingart

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business

Date Written: October 18, 2017

Abstract

Intensive care units (ICUs) provide care to the most severely ill hospitalized patients. Although ICUs increasingly rely on interprofessional teams to provide critical care, little about actual teamwork in this context is well understood. The ICU team is typically comprised of physicians or intensivists, clinical pharmacists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, bedside nurses, clinical psychologists, and clinicians-in-training. ICU teams are distinguished from other health care teams in that they are low in temporal stability, which can impede important team dynamics. Furthermore, ICU teams must work in physically and emotionally challenging environments. Our review of the literature reveals the importance of information sharing and decision-making processes, and identifies potential barriers to successful team performance, including the lack of effective conflict management and the presence of multiple and sometimes conflicting goals. Key knowledge gaps about ICU teams include the need for more actionable data linking ICU team structure to team functioning and patient-, family-, ICU-, and hospital-level outcomes. In particular, research is needed to better delineate and define the ICU team, identify additional psychosocial phenomena that impact ICU team performance, and address varying and often competing indicators of ICU team effectiveness as a multivariate and multilevel problem that requires better understanding of the independent effects and interdependencies between nested elements (i.e., hospitals, ICUs, and ICU teams). Ultimately efforts to advance team-based care are essential for improving ICU performance, but more work is need to develop actionable interventions that ensure that critically ill patients receive the best care possible.

Keywords: Teamwork, Performance, Critical Care, Patient Care, Collaboration

Suggested Citation

Ervin, Jennifer and Kahn, Jeremy M. and Cohen, Taya R. and Weingart, Laurie R., Teamwork in the Intensive Care Unit (October 18, 2017). Ervin, J. N., Kahn, J. M., Cohen, T. R., Weingart, L. R. Teamwork in the intensive care unit, American Psychologist, 2018, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3055328

Jennifer Ervin (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Jeremy M. Kahn

University of Pittsburgh - School of Medicine ( email )

200 Meyran Avenue
Suite 200
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
United States

Taya R. Cohen

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business ( email )

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
4122686677 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/our-faculty-and-research/about-our-faculty/faculty-profiles/tcohen/cohen-t

Laurie R. Weingart

Carnegie Mellon University - David A. Tepper School of Business ( email )

236A Posner Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-7585 (Phone)
412-268-6920 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gsia.cmu.edu/andrew/weingart

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