A Lesson in Teamwork

On March 1996, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published the results of a 9-month study conducted at the 5 main cardiology centers in 3 American states, with the participation of all 23 cardiologists working in those centers.


Researchers explained that what motivated the study is an observation that cardiologists usually follow the same strategies as workers in manual labor, such as competition; monopoly of experience, skills and career secrets – and that makes each one of them unique.


In this study, a group of cardiac surgeons, heart consultants, nurses and anesthesiologists from each medical center visited the other centers and attended open heart surgeries. They wrote reports comparing methods followed in their own medical centers with one another, and exchanged these reports so that each center can benefit from the experience of other medical centers.


Then, for example, one hospital decided to change the method used for postoperative endotracheal intubation, and another hospital decided to change the position of heart-respiratory monitors in operating rooms. A third hospital decided to change the type of antibiotics used in their facilities.


After the end of experience and information exchange period, researchers compared the mortality rates in the 3 years preceding the study and the following years, and found out that the rates of mortality following open heart surgeries went down during the following years to 3.6%, as the number went down from 308 to 234 cases, which means 74 deaths were avoided in the 5 participating hospitals.


Experts and researchers praised the accurate scientific methods followed during the study.


This study as well as similar ones confirms the importance of teamwork and exchanging information and experience. Developed countries pointed at this necessity and even realized that coordinating efforts and teamwork are the pillars of development. Therefore, they raised their youth to believe in these principles, while their governments created all sorts of encouraging incentives and laws to help with the application and support of that principle.


There are many occasions when the code of ethics, humanitarian needs and popular benefits call for favoring cooperation,  solidarity and altruism over competition and selfish pursuits…


Those are the values of a believer…


And this is the spirit of religion…


Okaz Newspaper – Sunday 9 Muharram 1417 AH falling on 26 May 1996 AD