Crew Resource Management Training for Surgical Teams, A Fragmented Landscape

W. M.U. van Grevenstein, E. M. van der Linde*, J. G. Heetman, J. F. Lange, Th J. ten Cate, L. S.G.L. Wauben, C. M. Dekker-van Doorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Medical Crew Resource Management (CRM) training courses are designed to increase patient safety by reducing the effects of human errors. These training courses are most popular in surgery and a wide range of medical CRM training courses for surgical teams is now available. However, the effects of these CRM training courses on patient outcomes are inconclusive. Although surgical teams feel the need to be trained in team collaboration skills, they are often puzzled about what criteria to apply when choosing a medical CRM training course. This study aimed to compare CRM training courses on didactic components and simulation-exercises to explore if these courses are interchangeable. Methods: In this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted among 10 main CRM training providers of surgical teams in the Netherlands. Results: Although a large variety was found in the content of CRM training courses, the most substantial differences were found in the simulation-exercises. Nine out of 10 trainers stated that standard simulation-exercises would be a step forward to ensure quality in CRM trainings. According to the trainers, the implementation of medical CRM can reduce human errors and as a result, preventable patient complications. They suggested a quality standard for CRM trainers in the medical field to ensure the quality of medical team training as a way to reach this. Conclusions: Medical CRM training courses are diverse and noninterchangeable. Trainers expect that if CRM becomes part of surgical training and is embedded in operating theatre culture, it could be of great value for patients and professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2102-2109
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Crew resource management
  • interprofessional relations
  • patient safety
  • professional education
  • safety culture
  • surgical training


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