Hennus MP, Young JQ, Hennessy M, et al. ATS Sch. 2021;2:397-414.
The surge of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic forced the redeployment of non-intensive care certified staff into intensive care units (ICU). This study surveyed both intensive care (IC)-certified and non-IC-certified healthcare providers who were working in ICUs at the beginning of the pandemic. Qualitative synthesis identified five themes related to supervision; quality and safety of care; collaboration, communication, and climate; recruitment, scheduling and team composition, and; organization and facilities. The authors provide recommendations for future deployments.
Kjaergaard-Andersen G, Ibsgaard P, Paltved C, et al. Int J Health Care Qual. 2021;33:mzaa148.
Simulation training is used by hospitals to improve patient care. This study describes the experience of one Danish hospital shifting from simulation training at external centers to in situ training. The shift to in situ training identified several latent safety threats (e.g., equipment access, lack of closed-loop communication, out-of-date checklists) and these findings led to practice changes.
Trinchero E, Kominis G, Dudau A, et al. Public Manag Rev. 2020;22.
Employing a mixed-methods approach, this study found that teamwork (directly and indirectly) positively impacted professionals’ safety behavior. Teamwork indirectly impacted safety behavior by increasing individual’s positive psychological capital, thereby increasing their self-efficacy and resilience. These findings emphasize the role of hospital leadership and middle management in creating an organizational culture of safety
Casali G, Cullen W, Lock G. J Thorac Dis. 2019;11:S998-S1008.
Nontechnical skills, such as teamwork, communication, and leadership, are essential human-centered components of safe surgical practice. This commentary discusses contextual characteristics needed to support nontechnical skill development to improve health care outcomes. The authors recommend a cultural shift away from focusing on technical performance to one that incorporates training in nontechnical skills.
Davidson M, Brennan PA. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2019;57:407-411.
Aviation has provided health care with insights regarding how systems approaches, blame-free reporting, and teamwork can prevent failure. This commentary summarizes tactics used in aviation that have been applied to surgery in support of efforts to reduce patient harm.
Rönnerhag M, Severinsson E, Haruna M, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2019;75:585-593.
Inadequate communication in obstetrics can compromise safety. In this qualitative study, researchers conducted focus groups of multidisciplinary teams including obstetricians, midwives, and nurses working in a single maternity ward to examine their perceptions of adverse events during childbirth. Analysis of data collected suggests that support for high-quality interprofessional teamwork is important for safe maternity care.
Leslie M, Paradis E, Gropper MA, et al. Health Serv Res. 2017;52:1330-1348.
As implementation of comprehensive health information technology (IT) systems becomes more widespread, concern regarding the unintended consequences of such technologies has increased as well. Usability testing is helpful for optimizing implementation of health IT. Researchers analyzed the impact of health IT use on relationships among clinicians over a year-long period across three academic intensive care units. In the two units with higher health IT use, clinicians were more likely to work in an isolated manner, which was associated with an adverse effect on situational awareness, communication, and patient satisfaction. A previous PSNet perspective discussed some of the pitfalls in the development, implementation, and regulation of health IT and what can be learned to improve patient safety going forward.
SBAR has been widely implemented to improve communication in health care settings. This simulation study compared the use of SBAR with a newly developed Traffic Lights tool to assess the communication between anesthesia teams in different operating rooms in 12 validated clinical scenarios. The authors found that the new tool yielded more accurate information transfer, took less time to use, and was preferred by the majority of study participants.
Green B, Mitchell DA, Stevenson P, et al. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2016;54:847-850.
Although leadership at the team and organizational level is considered crucial for safety, training to support this role is needed. Discussing how to improve leadership skills in maxillofacial surgery, this review describes key attributes that surgeons in leadership roles should develop—including professionalism, motivation, and innovation—to enhance quality of care.
McCulloch P, Morgan L, New S, et al. Ann Surg. 2015;265.
Safety culture and work systems influence safety, but it is unclear whether safety improvement efforts should focus on one or both factors. This study sought to improve adherence to the WHO surgical safety checklist and to enhance technical and nontechnical team performance using several safety interventions. One intervention focused on improving safety culture, while another was directed at the work system. Investigators also tested a combined approach. Although both team training and system redesign individually demonstrated improvement, the combined approach was more successful than either individual approach. This finding suggests that in order to truly enhance surgical safety, organizations must invest in both systems and culture interventions.
Tscholl DW, Weiss M, Kolbe M, et al. Anesth Analg. 2015;121:948-956.
This pre-post study demonstrated increases in teamwork after introduction of an anesthesia checklist. Although evidence for checklists in real-world settings is mixed, this work demonstrates their efficacy as part of an intervention study, which is consistent with prior work.
Flowerdew L, Brown R, Vincent C, et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2012;59:376-385.e4.
Nontechnical skills, such as teamwork and communication, influence performance in technical fields like surgery. This study reports on the development of a tool to assess emergency physicians' nontechnical skills.
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