Emergencies within hospital wards

an observational study of the non-technical skills of medical emergency teams

Rosemary Saunders*, Emma Wood, Adam Coleman, Karen Gullick, Renée Graham, Karla Seaman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Medical emergency teams are essential in responding to acute deterioration of patients in hospitals, requiring both clinical and non-technical skills. This study aims to assess the non-technical skills of medical emergency teams during hospital ward emergencies and explore team members perceptions and experiences of the use non-technical skills during medical emergencies.

Methods: A multi-methods study was conducted in two phases. During phase one observation and assessment of non-technical skills used in medical emergencies using the Team Emergency Assessment Measure (TEAM™) was conducted; and in the phase two in-depth interviews were undertaken with medical emergency team members.

Results: Based on 20 observations, mean TEAM™ ratings for non-technical skill domains were: ‘leadership’ 5.0 out of 8 (±2.0); ‘teamwork’ 21.6 out of 28 (±3.6); and ‘task management’ 6.5 out of 8 (±1.4). The mean ‘global’ score was 7.5 out of 10 (±1.5). The qualitative findings identified three areas, ‘individual’, ‘team’ and ‘other’ contributing factors, which impacted upon the non-technical skills of medical emergency teams.

Conclusion: Non-technical skills of hospital medical emergency teams differ, and the impact of the skill mix on resuscitation outcomes was recognised by team members. These findings emphasize the importance non-technical skills in resuscitation training and well-developed processes for medical emergency teams.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalAustralasian Emergency Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • non-technical skills
  • medical emergency teams
  • resuscitation
  • hospitals
  • Non-technical skills

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