Improving ICU Teamwork

Principal Investigator(s)

Jeremy M. Kahn, MD MS


  • Jennifer Ervin, PhD
  • Timothy Girard, MD MSc

Teamwork in the intensive care unit: the Understanding Intensive Care Team Effectiveness and Dynamics (UNITED) Study

The UNITED study seeks to identify the organizational factors associated with the use of evidence-based practice in the intensive care unit. Interprofessional, team-based care is a hallmark of the ICU, but there is little empirical evidence about what makes ICU teams function well or how to improve ICU team function. This study will measure the attributes of ICU teams across the UPMC Health System, assessing key factors such as team leader inclusiveness, role clarity, and psychological safety, among others. Then the investigators will test the relationship between these factors and the use of evidence-based care practices and patient outcomes. In addition, researchers are conducing qualitative observations of ICU teams in action to provide a more granular insight of how teamwork can be used to improve ICU quality.

The results will be used to design an intervention to improve teamwork in the ICU. This project is a collaboration between the Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, the Pitt Department of Critical Care Medicine, and the CMU Tepper School of Business