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Dates: 2009-2014
Funding: National Institute for Health Research
Collaborators: Nuffield Department of Surgery; University of Oxford
Information: Oliver Rivero-Arias

Studies of medical errors have shown that between 3% and 16% of hospital patients suffer harm from the care they receive, and surgery has been identified as a high risk area. Research in operating theatres has found that surgical teams who have in place well-developed communication and cooperation schemes are less likely to commit technical errors. The current study evaluates the effectiveness and costs of a new teamwork approach in theatres using a training system originally developed in aviation. The research group of S3 will observe surgical teams before and after they receive the training.

The effectiveness of this training programme is likely to have important economic implications, and data will be collected to evaluate this. For instance, it is likely that time in theatre and complications will be reduced as a result of this safety system being in place. In addition, there may be other savings in length of stay, returns to theatre, and the number of hospital acquired infections. Data on these and other variables will be collected for a cost evaluation. This is an observational study that will link patient-level data observed in the operating room with administrative data from each hospital site participating in the study.