SWANS: safer, more productive operating theatres


I’ve been looking at research
into fatigue in surgeons and if we could improve team
working in the operating theatre it would improve our communication and whether
that would make things more efficient and safer Around the world it’s pretty much
accepted that you need to do a WHO – so a World Health Organization team timeout but what we’re really talking about is doing
something before the patient is even in the room I went into over 300 surgeries and
observed them and i took structured notes teams that briefed at the beginning
reported better communication between the different professional groups
particularly with the surgeon and it was the quality of communication and
collaboration with the surgeon that actually predicted the safety
outcomes the best. And actually out of all of the things
that I’ve heard from nurses the number one thing that really
burns them out and stresses them it’s feeling incompetent and generally that’s because they didn’t get the information that they needed. Of the things that can go wrong with surgery which we call adverse events around about fifty percent of them are preventable and around about seventy percent of those are
a result of poor communication and poor teamwork And then of course there’s the effectiveness
and functioning of the hospital For example at Fiona Stanley using a
conservative estimate we’ve worked out that in one year this initiative if it was used by
all the theatres could save 17 million dollars people have said that they’ve done a
briefing but it wasn’t effective because other people didn’t actually consider
it to be a complete briefing so they were still missing
information they needed so as we expand we want to
make sure that it’s embedded before we start moving on and to keep on providing support. so often you introduce new policy and you may not yourself necessarily
see all the time that it’s improving things but if the data which comes back shows
that you are getting through more cases you know your staff are enjoying it more at the end of the day
the patient safety has been improved then people will take it on board

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