Scour the web for research on the relationship between clinician teamwork and patient satisfaction, and you’re bound to see study after study that shows the positive effect a harmonious surgical team has on patient safety. Statistics prove that when an effective relationship exists between OR management, surgeons, nurses, and the anesthesia team, patient satisfaction increases as does efficiency.
But what happens if clinicians are at odds? A recent article in USA TODAY examined the prevalence and impact of conflict amongst a facility’s clinical staff. Beyond the anecdotal accounts of its effect on quality of care, including what The Joint Commission calls “behaviors that undermine a culture of safety,” there is sufficient data that proves a disjointed surgical team leads to poor clinical outcomes.
In a 2008 study conducted by Vanderbilt University, it discovered that of the 4,500 individuals surveyed, 77% indicated disruptive behavior by doctors, 65% among nurses. In all, over two-thirds indicated that such behavior led to adverse events.
So how do you combat this problem if it exists at your facility? The USA TODAY article suggests that run-of-the-mill counseling is one solution. Another solution may be for the anesthesia team and OR personnel to develop a strong, working relationship. As explained in Somnia’s white paper “Creating a Perioperative Partnership for Operating Room Managers,” a collaborative partnership between the OR team and anesthesia leadership can help solve potential dilemmas that impact the clinical and financial efficiency of the OR. Not only will communication improve, but case volume will increase, cancelled surgeries will decrease and quality of care will be at peak performance – rewarding the hospital with financial and operational success.
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