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Columbia University

Crisis Resource Management

Columbia University via edX


Research suggests that lack of crisis resource management skills in the healthcare profession result in at least 100,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. This course will arm you with the critical skills to effectively make decisions and manage teams in a crisis situation, especially teams of strangers—a common occurrence for many health workers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The course provides real-life examples and simulations for medical professionals to practice these skills.

Crisis Resource Management (CRM) refers to the non-technical skills required for effective teamwork in a crisis situation. Based on lessons learned in the aviation industry, CRM can be applied in the health care setting and taught to practitioners to help teams to manage and prevent crises. This curriculum emphasizes shared decision-making and appropriate team management that crosses multiple disciplines and professions.

This course makes CRM concepts accessible, moving away from theoretical and abstract presentations of the topics. It also contextualizes medical experiences in real-life examples or simulations. The basic and more elaborate concepts of CRM and utility of non-technical skills have a broad application across global health care environments, a curriculum that often is not exposed to health care students, residents, and fellows.

The interactive format of this online course will allow us to explore cultural influences on these principles.


  1. Introduction to Crisis Resource Management
    • History of Crisis Resource Management
    • Medical Errors in Crisis Resource Management
  2. Preparation
    • Assess Yourself
    • Monitor Your Surroundings
    • Know Your Team
  3. Anticipation
    • Balance Attention: Fixation Error
    • Balance Attention: Cognitive Load
    • Balance Attention: Cognitive Aids
    • Anticipate and Plan
  4. Communication
    • Communication During Crisis
    • The 3Cs and Communicating Effectively
    • Call for Help Early
    • Share the Mental Model
  5. Decision
    • Regain Situational Awareness
    • Organize to Team
    • Challenge Authority
    • Create Psychological Safety
  6. Reflection
    • Curiosity
    • Team Reflection

Taught by

Vivek K. Moitra, MD, David O. Kessler, MD, MSc, Jessica Spellman, MD and Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning


4.8 rating, based on 42 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at edX based on 13 ratings

Start your review of Crisis Resource Management

  • I loved to learn how two industries as distinct as Aviation and Healthcare can make the most of shared principles in communication. Of course, when we are facing risks and crisis the way we communicate is paramount, but we can take a lot of this learning into our daily lives, for better understanding, engagement and productivity. Congrats for the excellent job, and thank you!
  • Anonymous
    I learnt a lot about the many different ways to manage a crisis and the resources needed to manage a crisis. Although this course's theme is primarily on healthcare, I find that the lessons learnt here can be applied to almost any aspects of life when in a crisis. I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in learning how to not only manage a crisis better, but communicate more effectively with strangers.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed the course and learnt a lot. I like the examples from medicine and aviation. I believe the course can further be enriched with examples from firefighting or law enforcement as well. Overall an excellent course.
  • Anonymous
    This course helped me gain empathy for my coworkers andmade me realise how important it is to be able to work as a team.
  • Anonymous
    Useful, a lot of information about crisis resources management and more, thank you very much appreciate it
  • Anonymous

    Good day I would say thank you for all organizing this course because l Learn some the skills critical for effective teamwork in a crisis situation with focus on preparation, decision-making, and reflection across multidisciplinary teams

    This course It is makes CRM concepts accessible, moving away from theoretical and abstract presentations of the topics. It also contextualizes medical experiences in real-life examples or simulations
  • Anonymous
    Getting familiar with the basic concepts should be mandatory for every HCP student. The overall framework, the presentations were perfect, I'm kinda jealous that we don't have quality e-learning materials like this at my university (Semmelweis University - Hungary), this course gave me some ideas, how we should proceed with that question.
    In the meantime I hope, I can get in touch with creators, so that maybe we can add additional subtitles (hungarian) e.g. to the Youtube content, b.c. the average language skills at my workplace might not meet the requirements, for an enjoyable course.
  • Anonymous
    I loved to attend this course. It is very open minded, professionally prepared, objective, and clear. It makes such clever use of knowledge and experience from other industries, which can be applied to Medicine, but in so many situations at work and in life. Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    I thoroughly enjoyed this course, the teaching methods and the crisis scenario that was employed in the course of teaching. I now feel very confident that I will be able to de well in crisis situations.
  • Anonymous
    This COURSE has been designed and developed In a very clear format and is very useful to Understand in deep how important CRM is , speciaIly in our sector.
  • Anonymous
    I found this course helpful. It was systematically delivered through a fully packed video scenario. Although it is an online course, it is a valuable resource for me since I have attended this kind of course before but in a different field.

    Some materials need to be reviewed such as broken links, purchased issues etc.
  • Anonymous
    The materials are quite comprehensive and systematic, but a lot of additional resources are either dead link or behind paywall.
    Hopefully, the additional resources are put into EdX own internal server/cloud for students to have unlimited access.
  • Anonymous
    I recommed this course to any individual who is involved in crisis management cell and execution. The level of info covered in the course is mouthful and one can learn alot from the Doctors approach towards treating a victim.
  • Anonymous
    i have heard about this topic, i also read about it, but it was a well structrured course. i learned a lot, it was comprehensive and showed me other resourses as wel (humanfactors page). i would totally recommend it.
  • Anonymous
    Very good course
    Short videos, with great learning techniques
    CRM should be mandatory in Med school
    I had studied about CRM before, but the lessons bring a lot of depth hardly found anywhere else readily available
  • Anonymous
    The course structure is quite broad and even in a short duration it covers the necessary topics very well. Even though not from a medical background, it is still easy to understand and finish it.
  • Anonymous
    Beeing in the finance department of real estate funds, this seminar shed significant light in tackling and defusing self and team in day to day difficult situations. Thank you for all your efforts.
  • Anonymous
    I like the course, but I would have liked more examples out of the OR or ER. I am not an MD and I did not know by looking at the course that was addressed to that specific public.
  • Anonymous
    Great course. I'm a pilot and many examples from aviation industry were really useful for crisis mangement. Unfortunately, many reading links were broken.
  • Anonymous
    very well structured
    great content
    grest external resources and references
    woud very much like to be able to access the content even after course conclusion

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