Current status of project

The progress of the MedTeams research is currently being observed by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN). "We are in the beginnings of discussions to create an arrangement whereby ACEP and STN will be responsible for the distribution of the MedTeams systems, concepts, and training ," reports Robert Simon, EdD, chief scientist for the crew performance group at Dynamics Research Corporation in Andover, MA. (The title of the currciculum is "Emergency Team Coordination Course".)

If that occurs, ACEP and STN would contract with Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC), the organization that coordinated the research and development of the program, to service and periodically update the MedTeams materials, Simon explains.

MedTeams will accomplish the final round of data collection this month, notes Simon. "In August of this year, 6-10 hospitals will participate in a "beta test" of MedTeams to ensure that organizational aspects and infrastructure are in place," he explains.

Assuming that the results of the validation testing and the beta testing are positive, the MedTeams ED curriculum should be commercially available to hospitals beginning in the first quarter of 2000.

Although MedTeams is specifically adapted for emergency medicine, the concept will eventually expand. "Our vision is to export this to other parts of the hospital, such as the OR and ICU. Just as in the ED, in those areas you have a high stress environment, and decisions need to be made quickly, often with incomplete information," explains Matthew Rice, MD, FACEP, medical corps chief at the department of emergency medicine at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA.