Recent catastrophic events involving some of our medical transport colleagues in Illinois, Iowa and Oklahoma have caused all of us to pause and re-examine how we conduct the business of transport. There are several thoughts that come to mind that can be summed up in one phrase—Crew Resource Management.
Crew Resource Management (or CRM) involves several elements that enable transport operations to be conducted safely and to provide the utmost in quality patient care. A Crew Resource Management program must be an integral component of any transport program. Management can provide vital leadership in helping crews and ground operations personnel to develop and hone proficient skills in their areas of expertise. Additionally, crewmembers must learn and incorporate other important skills into their professional transport practices that are crucial to the transport environment. These include such skills as situational awareness, threat and error management, effective decision-making and problem solving, leadership, and effective team communication.
Crew Resource Management is a fundamental aspect of NAAMTA accreditation services. This, along with our ISO quality management system, defines a culture that promotes and supports the safety of all transport teams and organizations in every day-to-day operations.
In March 2013, NAAMTA will be launching a Crew Resource Management training program that has application to all transport programs configurations—ground, air, and aquatic. This CRM training course includes lessons on thought processing, human error, error management, attention and workload management, stress management, automation in transport systems concerns, situational awareness, communication, leadership, and single operator CRM.
We are excited to offer this program via a self-paced online training course as well as in a course manual format. By accessing the new NAAMTA educational website, the CRM training course can be utilized by individuals at their own pace, completing quizzes at the end of each lesson. An individual transcript showing completion of the course will be available for documentation purposes. Additionally, other training courses will be soon added to the educational website, including such topics as Safety Management Systems, Infection Control and Bloodborne Pathogens, Aviation Physiology, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, and many more.
There is no way of determining the countless times an accident has been avoided through careful utilization of CRM and we know that some circumstances are out of our control. However, application of the principles and culture of Crew Resource Management do limit these incidences. Be careful out there and work together to come home safely!