A performance improvement evaluation of Crew Resource Management in a Midwest regional hospital

by Buzalko, Russell J., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 164 pages; 3601859


The purpose of this study was to answer the central research question related to how Crew Resource Management (CRM) implementation influences performance improvement in a hospital setting. The study also examined sub-questions related to how CRM influenced patient safety, quality of care, and reduction of human errors. A qualitative single case study in a Midwest United States regional medical center examined a complex intervention in a natural context. The literature identified a lack of observational studies linked to CRM. The case study was used in conjunction with interviews, document / record reviews, and, most importantly, observations to triangulate findings. Teamwork, various forms of communications, and a positive culture were found to address the research questions. The absence of refresher training was causal when participants could no longer identify key terms related to CRM, yet the department still demonstrated high levels of teamwork and open communications. A comparison of Level 2—Learning to Level 3—Behavior Transfer and Level 4—Business Impact was used during the application of Kirkpatrick’s levels of evaluation. Participants demonstrated high levels of teamwork and frequently related teamwork to CRM while answering interview questions. Simultaneously, communications styles were generally open as team members were encouraged by others to speak-up and provide inputs regardless of position on the team. A positive environment / culture promoted the use of teamwork and open communications in the best interest of the patient. However, the findings were inconclusive when analyzing if CRM was the catalyst for the common themes or was CRM a tool to support the themes that were already in place before the intervention. The implications for practice suggest a need to tailor training to the industry and specific departments, a need for refresher training, a need for increased CRM usage in non-critical cases, and the importance of CRM to the patient. Ultimately, 73-percent of participants indicated a positive relationship to CRM implementation and job performance. Additional research is recommended to compare the findings of this study to other environments or suggest if strong teamwork in one department influences teamwork with other departments.

AdviserKaren Minchella
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Health education; Health care management
Publication Number3601859

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