Nevin Manimala Statistics

Associations of Surgical Team Communication With the Layout of Physical Space: A Network Analysis of the Operating Room in a Military Medical Center

HERD. 2023 Mar 2:19375867231159130. doi: 10.1177/19375867231159130. Online ahead of print.


AIM: To examine how the spatial topology of the operating room (OR) within the medical center impacts surgical team communication.

BACKGROUND: Understanding the complex association between surgical team communication and the OR’s spatial network location is critical to patient safety. Effective surgical communication is associated with fewer adverse events and medical errors.

METHODS: We employed a cross-sectional, quantitative, case study, and network-centric study design. We studied the population of 204 clinicians in a large military medical center (36 perioperative nurses, 34 surgical technicians, 62 anesthesia providers, and 72 surgeons), focusing on surgical teams with cases completed within duty hours. Data were collected from December 2020 to June 2021 using an electronic survey. Spatial network analysis was done using electronic floor plans. Statistical analysis was done with descriptive statistics and linear regressions. The outcomes were general and task-specific communication, and team-level variables were aggregated from scores for all team members. Spatial effects were assessed with network centrality (degree, Laplacian, and betweenness).

RESULTS: The individual-level survey response rate was 77% (157 of 204). Data were collected on 137 surgical teams. On a 5-point scale, general and task-specific communication ranged from 3.4 to 5.0 and 3.5 to 5.0, respectively (for both, median = 4.7). Team size ranged from 4 to 6 individuals (median = 4). Surgical suites with higher network centralities were associated with significantly lower communication scores.

CONCLUSIONS: The OR’s spatial network location has important impacts on surgical team communication. Our findings have design and workflow implications for ORs and even surgical care in combat zones.

PMID:36866407 | DOI:10.1177/19375867231159130

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