Familiarity among residents and nurses improves some aspects of team performance over time

Clinical Question

Does familiarity among residents and nurses increase team performance?

Bottom line

This was perhaps a first-of-its-kind study looking at the effect of familiarity among medicine residents and nurses on overall team performance. Some elements of teamwork improved (higher team performance on simulation events, increased nurse inclusion on rounds) in the groups who were familiar with one another over time. However, although nurses’ perceptions regarding a positive teamwork culture were stronger in the familiar group at 6 months, the 2 groups had similar results at 12 months, suggesting that the added experience of residents in the latter half of the year may have improved their relationships with nurses. 1b-

Study design: Randomized controlled trial (nonblinded)

Funding: Foundation

Setting: Inpatient (ward only)


Nita Shrikant Kulkarni, MD
Assistant Professor in Hospital Medicine
Northwestern University
Chicago, IL

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Impact assessment

Very good

Pieter Richard Verbeek

Familiarity among residents and nurses improves some aspects

Interesting novel study. Results seem quite intuitive but great to see this kind of evidence. Important that the study intervention was simply "time" spent by PGY1 on a "typical" clinical ward under "normal" operating conditions. Cant' see why this would not apply "universally" in health care settings. I would have been really impressed had there been a positive impact on patient outcome parameters. Would have liked to have seen some kind of patient satisfaction score reported so the study was had patient centric metric included.


Familiarity among residents and nurses improves some aspects

there is evidence that collaberation , communication and professionalism enhancements can improve patient outcomes and reduce medical error. I see this study as a potential tool to support a team based approach to care delvery models