Team communications in surgery - creating a culture of safety
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Abstract As a key department within a healthcare organisation, the operating room is a hazardous environment, where the consequences of errors are high, despite the relatively low rates of occurrence. Team performance in surgery is increasingly being considered crucial for a culture of safety. The aim of this study was to describe team communication and the ways it fostered or threatened safety culture in surgery. Ethnography was used, and involved a 6-month fieldwork period of observation and 19 interviews with 24 informants from nursing, anaesthesia and surgery. Data were collected during 2009 in the operating rooms of a tertiary care facility in Queensland, Australia. Through analysis of the textual data, three themes that exemplified teamwork culture in surgery were generated: "building shared understandings through open communication"; "managing contextual stressors in a hierarchical environment" and "intermittent membership influences team performance". In creating a safety culture in a healthcare organisation, a team's optimal performance relies on the open discussion of teamwork and team expectation, and significantly depends on how the organisational culture promotes such discussions.
Journal of Interprofessional Care
Copyright 2013 Informa Healthcare. This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Interprofessional Care, Vol.27 (5), 2013, pp.387-393 Journal of Interprofessional Care is available online at: http://informahealthcare.com with the open URL of your article.
Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)