Managing complex and dynamic situations often requires multiple individuals working as a team. Research on teamwork has shown the importance of communication and coordination among team members as key cognitive determinants of team effectiveness.
However, team coordination and information sharing does not necessarily lead to a reduction of the workload of each team member. Indeed, the interdependence between operators’ roles may bring up an overhead cost to team performance. The goal of this project is to study the dynamics of collaboration in small groups of operators and to understand the cognitive and organizational factors that influence team efficiency. We study those processes using realistic simulations of teamwork required in different contexts of crisis management:
- Public safety (urban security or management of natural disaster)
- Emergency medicine - Intensive care units
The Lab is equiped with the Co-DOT control center for the functional simulation of crisis management, emergency response and rapid response planning. In the video, three participants play the role of logistic, planning and operation Chiefs dealing with a natural disaster (C3Fire microworld).
The intensive care unit (ICU) is a high-risk environment that requires cross-professional teams to provide life-saving patient care. There is ample evidence that poor communication creates situations where medical errors are likely to occur and affect patient safety. We tested whether communication-oriented debriefing following high-fidelity simulation improves quality of information exchange reflecting collaborative work in ICU teams. Ten teams of six cross-professional ICU workers participated in three simulation-based training sessions. After each training session, the experimental group was debriefed on communication-oriented-skills (based on Crew Resource Management, CRM), while the control group was debriefed on technical skills. The analysis was double-blind; 30 videotaped sessions were coded for three types of communication measures by four observers showing adequate inter-rater reliability. Results suggest that high-fidelity simulation training can improve non-technical skills in cross-professional ICU teams.
Tremblay, S., Vachon, F., Lafond, D., & Kramer, C. (2012). Dealing With Task Interruptions in Complex Dynamic Environments: Are Two Heads Better Than One? Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society,54(1), 70-83.