Waikato District Health Board (DHB), Lakes DHB and Southern Cross Hospital in Auckland are participating in the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s perioperative harm proof of concept project. The sites are supporting their operating theatre teams to improve team work and communication by trialling a range of training and behavioural toolkits.
The toolkits and training are designed to allow theatre teams to adopt a pre-list briefing, the World Health Organization (WHO) surgical safety checklist and a post-list de-briefing. They include a paperless version of the checklist and a purpose-built app to collect observational data.
The proof of concept project will be completed in late 2014 and will help the Commission in planning the national rollout of tools and learnings to all surgical hospitals.
The importance of this work is underlined by the recent results from a survey sent to DHB staff about the checklist and its use in their operating theatres. The survey asked a range of questions relating to the engagement of staff when completing the three steps of the checklist.
Responses indicate the checklist is being used in the majority of surgical cases, however its use is not universal or consistent, and participation across professional groups varies significantly. For example, of the 96 respondents, 91 percent said they would want the checklist used on themselves or a family member if they were to have a surgical procedure but only 48 percent said that they or their teams used the checklist all of the time.
The work being undertaken by the Commission to improve teamwork and communication in the operating theatre is intended to make results such as these a thing of the past.
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