April 1, 2021

COVID-19 met with intensive teamwork

Team members serving COVID-19 inpatients were more densely connected, interacting far more than their medical ICU counterparts.

As reported in the journal JMIR Human FactorsChao YanYou Chen, PhD, and colleagues used electronic health records (EHRs) and network analysis to study teamwork in intensive care units at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

As a starting point, they matched 38 patients admitted to the COVID ICU with 38 similar patients without COVID-19 admitted to the medical ICU.  

Team members serving COVID-19 inpatients were more densely connected, interacting far more than their medical ICU counterparts. In COVID-19 teams, internal medicine physicians and nurse practitioners were more apt to figure as core members. 

Reflecting the inpatient staffing model adopted for COVID-19 at VUMC, fewer residents used the EHRs of these patients, while more internal medicine nurse practitioners, cardiovascular nurses and surgical ICU nurses used them.  

Compared to their counterparts in the medical ICU, nurse practitioners on the COVID unit exhibited greater connection with health care workers not otherwise involved with intensive care.

On the study also were Xinmeng Zhang, Cheng Gao, PhD, Erin Wilfong, MD, PhD, Jonathan Casey, MD, MSci, Daniel France, PhD, MPH, Yang GongMD, PhD, Mayur PatelMPH, MD, and Bradley MalinPhD. The study was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (LM012854).