Nursing & Care


Improving Communication and Teamwork in the Operating Room

Louise Kertesz, Christina Walker, Bernadette Maliwat-Bandigan.

Communication and teamwork are essential components of safe patient care. This research project evaluated the communication and teamwork the operating room staff engaged in during 30 surgical procedures. This descriptive project utilized a convenience sample consisting of approximately fifty interdisciplinary staff members. To evaluate
the quality of communication the Communication and Teamwork Skills (CATS) Assessment Tool was used. From 2012 to 2014, improvement in CATS scores was marked: for example, the score for the communication category went from 91.60% to 99.5% and that for the coordination category from 93.50% to 97.6%. Study findings suggest
that education and quality monitoring with teaching moments improve team-based outcomes and, ultimately, increase patient safety. All operative team members should not only be competent in their individual roles but should also work together in a structure exhibiting the expertise of team members functioning synergistically as team members.