Operating theatres are very private workplaces. There have been few research investigations into how highly trained doctors and nurses work together to achieve safe and efficient anaesthesia and surgery. While there have been major advances in surgical and anaesthetic procedures, there are still significant risks for patients during operations and adverse events are not unknown. Due to rising concern about patient safety, surgeons and anaesthetists have looked for ways of minimising adverse events. Behavioural scientists have been encouraged by clinicians to bring research techniques used in other industries into the operating theatre in order to study the behaviour of surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists. Safer Surgery presents one of the first collections of studies designed to understand the factors influencing safe and efficient surgical, anaesthetic and nursing practice. The book is written by psychologists, surgeons and anaesthetists, whose contributions combine to offer readers the latest research techniques and findings from some of the leading investigators in this field. It is designed for practitioners and researchers interested in understanding the behaviour of operating theatre team members, with a view to enhancing both training and practice. The material is also suitable for those studying behaviour in other areas of healthcare or in high-risk work settings. The aims of the book are to: a) present the latest research on the behaviour of operating theatre teams b) describe the techniques being used by psychologists and clinicians to study surgeons, anaesthetists and theatre nurses' task performance c) outline the safety implications of the research to date.
Rhona Flin (BSc, PhD Psychology) is Professor of Applied Psychology at the University of Aberdeen. She is a Chartered Psychologist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She directs a team of psychologists working with high-risk industries on research and consultancy projects concerned with the management of safety and emergency response. She is currently leading the Scottish Patient Safety Research Network and has been working with anaesthetists and surgeons since 1999. Her books include Sitting in the Hot Seat: Leaders and Teams for Critical Incident Management (Wiley, 1996), Managing the Offshore Installation Workforce (edited with Slaven, PennWell Books, 1996), Decision Making Under Stress (edited with Salas, Strub & Martin, Ashgate, 1997), Incident Command: Tales from the Hot Seat (edited with Arbuthnot, Ashgate 2002) and Safety at the Sharp End: A Guide to Non-Technical Skills (with O'Connor & Crichton, Ashgate, 2008). Lucy Mitchell (MA, MRes Psychology) is a Research Assistant at the Industrial Psychology Research Centre at the University of Aberdeen. She is currently developing a framework for assessing and training operating theatre scrub practitioners' non-technical skills and is also working towards a PhD in this area. She is a former police officer and has previously investigated the decision-making skills of police firearms officers.
'This excellent and original book is clearly targeted at its intended audience.' HIGHLY COMMENDED in the Surgery Category of the 2010 BMA Book Awards. 'The expectation of improved performance in the operating room by the public, healthcare managers and funders leads to a need to understand and measure performance of surgical teams. This book provides an up-to-date overview of surgical performance research from across the globe. The use of this work to assess both non-technical and technical skills of operating teams will undoubtedly drive changes beneficial to patients.' Bruce Barraclough, President, International Society for Quality in Health Care 'It is increasingly recognised that adverse events in the operating theatre arise from poor teamwork and poor communications, or deficiencies in our systems. It is also acknowledged that modern day surgery is increasingly complex and beyond the gift of any one professional or professional group to deliver and assure. The delivery of safer surgery depends on high performing teams who understand and recognise the interdependencies of their roles and contribution. This fascinating text, edited by Flin and Mitchell, brings together the work of leading researchers from medicine, psychology and safety critical industries, to expose the culture, professional hierarchies and behaviours endemic to our operating theatres. In this unique collection, each chapter highlights behavioural studies and educational approaches to develop professionals' non-technical skills and enhance safety in the theatre environment. Human error and systems failure contribute to "never" events and what we know to be avoidable harm; this text makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of what must change in our health systems and how we prepare future professionals to improve surgical safety.' Jane Reid, President, International Federation of Perioperative Nurses, UK 'Despite a traditional focus heavily directed toward technical experti