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A novel approach for engagement in team training in high-technology surgery: the robotic-assisted surgery olympics.

Cohen TN, Anger JT, Kanji FF, et al. A novel approach for engagement in team training in high-technology surgery: the robotic-assisted surgery olympics. J Patient Saf. 2022;18(6):570-577. doi:10.1097/pts.0000000000001056.

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March 29, 2023
Cohen TN, Anger JT, Kanji FF, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18(6):570-577.
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Improving non-technical skills - such as teamwork and communication – is essential to safe delivery of healthcare but implementing successful training programs has been challenging. Researchers in this study implemented a gamification training program to increase technical and non-technical skills among robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) staff.

In this pilot study set at a large tertiary care center, RAS staff (surgical technicians and circulating nurses) were invited to participate in the “RAS Olympics” to develop skills and identify process improvement opportunities. The RAS Olympics consisted of four “events” – (1) safety hazard identification, (2) troubleshooting, (3) a workspace obstacle course, and (4) instrument retrieval using role reversal – and participants were evaluated on both technical and non-technical skills.

Individual event debriefs with the 16 operating room team members participating in the pilot study indicated broad support for the program, with all participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that they enjoyed the program, felt the training program was relevant to their work, and would recommend it to other RAS staff. The researchers did not measure improvements in technical or non-technical skills, but they note that the results demonstrate the value of this new method for staff engagement and learning.

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Cohen TN, Anger JT, Kanji FF, et al. A novel approach for engagement in team training in high-technology surgery: the robotic-assisted surgery olympics. J Patient Saf. 2022;18(6):570-577. doi:10.1097/pts.0000000000001056.

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