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Effects of Cross-Training on Medical Teams’ Teamwork and Collaboration: Use of Simulation

Department of Pharmacy Services, University of Utah Health, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA
Department of Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Department of Pharmacy Services, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Center for Medical Product End-User Testing, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmacy 2019, 7(1), 13;
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 8 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 19 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Simulation in Pharmacy Education and Beyond)
PDF [213 KB, uploaded 7 February 2019]


Previous research in the US Navy demonstrated that cross-training enhances teamwork and interpersonal collaboration. Limited data exists on cross-training effectiveness in medical education. This research aimed to assess whether cross-training would have similar effects on medical teams. A multidisciplinary pair of resident participants—consisting of one physician and one pharmacist—was randomly assigned to cross-training or current training condition. The training experience involved one video-based content module (training a pharmacist’s task of pharmacokinetic dosing and a physician’s task of intubation) and one simulation-based practice scenario (collaborative treatment of an unstable critically ill simulated patient). Interprofessional pairs randomized to cross-training condition participated in both the content module and practice scenario in the alternative professional role whereas pairs randomized to current training condition participated in their own professional role. Pairs also participated in pre- and post- training assessment scenarios in their own professional role. Teamwork and interprofessionalism were measured immediately following assessment scenarios. Knowledge assessments were conducted at the start and end of the scenario sequence. Multidisciplinary pairs experiencing cross-training showed a significant improvement in teamwork (increased by 6.11% vs. 3.24%, p < 0.05). All participants demonstrated significant improvement in knowledge scores (increase of 14% cross-training, p < 0.05, and increase of 13.9% control, p < 0.05). Our project suggests that cross-training can improve teamwork in interprofessional medical teams. View Full-Text
Keywords: simulation; interprofessional education; teamwork; cross-training simulation; interprofessional education; teamwork; cross-training
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Hedges, A.R.; Johnson, H.J.; Kobulinsky, L.R.; Estock, J.L.; Eibling, D.; Seybert, A.L. Effects of Cross-Training on Medical Teams’ Teamwork and Collaboration: Use of Simulation. Pharmacy 2019, 7, 13.

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