VA’s medical team training program can reduce surgical mortality rates

Participation in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) formalized medical team training program can reduce surgical mortality rates, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For the study, researchers compared surgical mortality at 74 hospitals using the VHA “Medical Team Training” method, which focuses on improving OR communication, teamwork and efficiency, to 108 hospitals not using this method. 

The hospitals that used the Medical Team Training approach experienced an 18% reduction in their mortality rate compared to 7% for facilities that had not.

(Sources: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, October 22, 2010; Journal of the American Medical Association, October 20, 2010)