The human element of surgery
A research team of psychologists and doctors led by Dr Nick Sevdalis at Imperial College London's Clinical Safety Research Unit has devised the Observational Teamwork Assessment for Surgery (OTAS) tool to assess the quality of team-related behaviours of the core members of an operating theatre team. The tool captures five team-related behaviours: Communication, Coordination, Cooperation, Situation Awareness and Leadership, each one of which is rated on a seven-point behaviourally anchored scale.
OTAS is being used to evaluate the effectiveness of one of the largest national quality improvement projects in surgical care in England and Wales – the Surgical Safety Checklist, mandated for national use by the National Patient Safety Agency in January 2009. It has been independently translated in Italian and revalidated for use in operating theatres in Italy and in German and Spanish speaking countries through an established network of research collaborators.
This research was funded by National Institute for Health Research, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the BUPA Foundation, the American Association for Surgical Education, the London Deanery and a joint ESRC/Medical Research Council Research Studentship award.