JMIR Res Protoc. 2022 Aug 24;11(8):e40445. doi: 10.2196/40445.
BACKGROUND: Preventable surgical errors of varying degrees of physical, emotional, and financial harm account for a significant number of adverse events. These errors are frequently tied to systemic problems within a health care system, including the absence of necessary policies/procedures, obstructive cultural hierarchy, and communication breakdown between staff. We developed an innovative, theory-based virtual reality (VR) training to promote understanding and sensemaking toward the holistic view of the culture of patient safety and high reliability.
OBJECTIVE: We aim to assess the effect of VR training on health care workers’ (HCWs’) understanding of contributing factors to patient safety events, sensemaking of patient safety culture, and high reliability organization principles in the laboratory environment. Further, we aim to assess the effect of VR training on patient safety culture, TeamSTEPPS behavior scores, and reporting of patient safety events in the surgery department of an academic medical center in the clinical environment.
METHODS: This mixed methods study uses a pre-VR versus post-VR training study design involving attending faculty, residents, nurses, technicians of the department of surgery, and frontline HCWs in the operation rooms at an academic medical center. HCWs’ understanding of contributing factors to patient safety events will be assessed using a scale based on the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System. We will use the data frame theory framework, supported by a semistructured interview guide to capture the sensemaking process of patient safety culture and principles of high reliability organizations. Changes in the culture of patient safety will be quantified using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality surveys on patient safety culture. TeamSTEPPS behavior scores based on observation will be measured using the Teamwork Evaluation of Non-Technical Skills tool. Patient safety events reported in the voluntary institutional reporting system will be compared before the training versus those after the training. We will compare the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality patient safety culture scores and patient safety events reporting before the training versus those after the training by using descriptive statistics and a within-subject 2-tailed, 2-sample t test with the significance level set at .05.
RESULTS: Ethics approval was obtained in May 2021 from the institutional review board of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (22-1150). The enrollment of participants for this study will start in fall 2022 and is expected to be completed by early spring 2023. The data analysis is expected to be completed by July 2023.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings will help assess the effectiveness of VR training in improving HCWs’ understanding of contributing factors of patient safety events, sensemaking of patient safety culture, and principles and behaviors of high reliability organizations. These findings will contribute to developing VR training to improve patient safety culture in other specialties.