Testing the effects of checklists on team behaviour during emergencies on general wards: An observational study using high-fidelity simulation

A.J.R. de Bie Dekker (Corresponding author), J.J. Dijkmans, N. Todorovac, R. Hibbs, K. Boe Krarup, A.R. Bouwman, P. Barach, M. Fløjstrup, T. Cooksley, J. Kellett, A.J.G.H. Bindels, H.H.M. Korsten, M. Brabrand, C.P. Subbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: Clinical teams struggle on general wards with acute management of deteriorating patients. We hypothesized that the Crisis Checklist App, a mobile application containing checklists tailored to crisis-management, can improve teamwork and acute care management.

METHODS: A before-and-after study was undertaken in high-fidelity simulation centres in the Netherlands, Denmark and United Kingdom. Clinical teams completed three scenarios with a deteriorating patient without checklists followed by three scenarios using the Crisis Checklist App. Teamwork performance as the primary outcome was assessed by the Mayo High Performance Teamwork scale. The secondary outcomes were the time required to complete all predefined safety-critical steps, percentage of omitted safety-critical steps, effects on other non-technical skills, and users' self-assessments. Linear mixed models and a non-parametric survival test were conducted to assess these outcomes.

RESULTS: 32 teams completed 188 scenarios. The Mayo High Performance Teamwork scale mean scores improved to 23.4 out of 32 (95% CI: 22.4-24.3) with the Crisis Checklist App compared to 21.4 (20.4-22.3) with local standard of care. The mean difference was 1.97 (1.34-2.6; p < 0.001). Teams that used the checklists were able to complete all safety-critical steps of a scenario in more simulations (40/95 vs 21/93 scenarios) and these steps were completed faster (stratified log-rank test χ2 = 8.0; p = 0.005). The self-assessments of the observers and users showed favourable effects after checklist usage for other non-technical skills including situational awareness, decision making, task management and communication.

CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a novel mobile crisis checklist application among clinical teams was associated in a simulated general ward setting with improved teamwork performance, and a higher and faster completion rate of predetermined safety-critical steps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Checklist
  • Clinical Competence
  • Emergencies
  • High Fidelity Simulation Training
  • Humans
  • Netherlands
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patients' Rooms
  • United Kingdom
  • General ward
  • Rapid response systems
  • Failure to rescue
  • Checklists
  • Acute care management
  • Clinical decision support system


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