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06/02/08 - Lessons in Teamwork from the Killing Fields
Lessons in Teamwork from the Killing Fields
Would you allow your children, partner or parents to be admitted to a hospital with a record of killing 10% of the patients who undergo major surgery?
Dr Ken Catchpole who specialises in understanding how people act in stressful situations was shocked to discover that the error rate in patient care after medical operations had been successfully completed, was up to 10%. He compared this to other high risk industries and the military experiencing an error rate of 0.001%.
He reported that “On an aircraft carrier you have hundreds of people, technology, explosives, fuel, and planes landing every couple of minutes – yet they rarely have accidents. Apply healthcare statistics and one in ten planes would be falling into the sea!”
Research at 21 hospitals across the U.K. revealed that surgeons and their colleagues in the operating theatre and the nursing staff in the intensive care wards to which the patients were admitted to recover, were highly skilled. There were however no standardised procedures for the handover of the patient between surgery and ICU.
The major problem identified was a lack of an interlocking team design for the entire procedure.
Dr Allan Goldman and heart surgeon Professor Martin Elliott at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London are both keen Formula 1 fans and while watching a race together witnessed a 20 member pit-stop team change tyres, fill the tank, clean the air intakes and send the car roaring off – all in less than seven seconds.
This article tells the story of how Formula 1 pit-stop excellence in creating world-class interlocking teams has been transfered to hospitals all over the world.  More importantly, how you can learn the secrets of inputting this new approach to organisational management into your own business.