Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Stewie faces the promise (or threat) of teamwork at Telluride

#TPSER9 The curriculum at the Telluride Patient Safety Camp is rigorous and multi-faceted, with the goal of enhancing residents' abilities to improve the quality and safety of care given in their home institutions and also their ability to make changes in their work environment. Team-building and teamwork are necessity components, and the residents today had a chance to engage in an exercise that stretched their competency in this arena.

Team 1 has 2 out of 6.  Will they make it?
A long plank is balanced on a cinder block, and a team of seven to eight residents has ten minutes to figure out how to get six people standing on the plank without losing balance. 

Team 2 on their way: 3 out of 6!
The rules require each person to get on the plank at its midpoint, one person at a time.  Once six people are on the plank, they must remain there for ten seconds, and then dismount in the reverse order.

Happy Stewie!
Underneath each end of the plank is a raw egg, which is crushed if the plank goes out of balance.  Patient harm is immediate and irrevocable.  The team's turn ends.

Poor Stewie!
Some teams designate coaches to be on hand (or hands and knees) to watch the plank carefully and warn of any imbalance.

The time pressure facing the teams causes real stress.

Lessons learned:  Have someone act as team leader, but being responsive to reports from other observers; learn from other groups' mistakes and from their best practices; be clear in communication; avoid rushing, even under the pressure of time.

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