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Team and communication skills training improves surgical technical performance

The potential for adverse events in the operating theatre has been linked to the quality of teamwork and communication, such that understanding teamwork in the operating theatre may play a role in reducing errors. A non-technical course—based on aviation Crew Resource Management principles—led to improved technical surgical performance in an English teaching hospital. Variation among teams appeared to be related in some instances to cultural resistance to adoption of the technique, particularly among medical staff. Debriefing and challenging authority posed the greatest challenge to introduction of change. A related report describes development and evaluation of a method for measuring operating theatre teamwork quality. An accompanying commentary expands on the central role of …

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