Evaluation of Communication and Safety Behaviors During Hospital-Wide Code Response Simulation

Document Type


Publication Date



Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital Scholars Academy

Journal Title

Simulation in healthcare : journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare

MeSH Headings

Communication; Hospitals; Humans; Leadership; Patient Care Team; Simulation Training


INTRODUCTION: To understand the baseline quality of team communication behaviors at our organization, we implemented institution-wide simulation training and measured the performance of safety behaviors of ad hoc teams in emergent situations. METHODS: Clinicians participated in 2 interprofessional video-recorded simulation scenarios, each followed by debriefing. Using a standardized evaluation instrument, 2 reviewers independently evaluated the presence or absence of desired team safety behaviors, including escalating care, sharing a mental model, establishing leadership, thinking out loud, and identifying roles and responsibilities. We also scored the quality of sharing the mental model, closed-loop communication, and overall team performance on a 7-point scale. Discordant reviews were resolved with scoring by an additional reviewer. RESULTS: A total of 1404 clinicians participated in 398 simulation scenarios, resulting in 257 usable videos. Overall, teams exhibited desired behaviors at the following frequencies: escalating care, 85%; sharing mental models, 66%; verbally establishing leadership, 6%; thinking out loud, 87%; and identifying roles and responsibilities, 27%. Across all reviews, the quality of the graded behaviors (of 7 points) was 2.8 for shared mental models, 3.3 for closed-loop communication, and 3.2 for overall team performance. CONCLUSIONS: In a simulation setting with ad hoc teams, there was variable performance on completing safety behaviors and only a fair quality of graded communication behaviors. These results establish a baseline assessment of communication and teamwork behaviors and will guide future quality improvement interventions.

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