Operating theatre teams should review the use of background music, study suggests

August 26, 2015

Source:  University College London, Institute of Education

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Date of publicationAugust 2015

Publication type:  News item

In a nutshell: An analysis of video footage taken during 20 operations shows that some operating theatre teams are negatively affected by background music during surgery. The study suggests that communication within the theatre team can be impaired when music is playing. The authors recommend that surgical teams hold discussions about playing music during an operation, with particular emphasis on taking into consideration the views of nurses. A good opportunity for this would be during the ‘Time Out’ section of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Surgery Safety Checklist. Based on their broader body of research, the team has developed a training model – Video Supported Simulation for Interactions in the Operating Theatre (ViSIOT) – that aims to improve communication and includes strategies to alleviate problems associated with music.

Length of Publication:  1 web page

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Safety culture and the 5 steps to safer surgery: an intervention study

April 29, 2015

Source:  British Journal of Anaesthesia pii: aev063. [Epub ahead of print]

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Date of publication:  March 2015

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The 5 Steps to Safer Surgery (5SSS) incorporates pre-list briefings, the three steps of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist (SSC) and post-list debriefings in one framework. This study aimed to identify any changes in safety culture associated with the introduction of the 5SSS in orthopaedic operating theatres. The authors assessed the safety culture in the elective orthopaedic theatres of a large UK teaching hospital before and after introduction of the 5SSS using a modified version of the Safety Attitude Questionnaire – Operating Room (SAQ-OR). They also analysed changes in responses to two items regarding perioperative briefings. The authors conclude that implementation of the 5SSS was associated with a significant improvement in the safety culture of elective orthopaedic operating theatres.

Length of Publication:  1 web page

Some important notes: Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library


The WHO surgical safety checklist: survey of patients’ views

August 27, 2014

Source:  BMJ Quality and Safety 2014 Jul 18. Epub ahead of print

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Date of publication:  July 2014

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The WHO surgical safety checklist should be implemented across all NHS operating theatres, but it presents a challenge for some teams. This paper assessed patients’ views of the checklist. Patients from surgical wards at two hospitals were shown two professionally produced videos. One video showed a team using the WHO surgical safety checklist and the other showed surgery before the checklist was introduced. Patients were surveyed and they had positive views about the checklist and thought it would improve safety. This may provide further evidence to convince professionals who remain resistant to using it.

Length of Publication:  1 web page


Compliance and use of the World Health Organization checklist in U.K. operating theatres

January 29, 2014

Source:  British Journal of Surgery vol/iss 100/12 pp. 1664-1670

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Date of publication:  November 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The World Health Organization (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist is reported to reduce surgical morbidity and mortality. It is mandatory in the NHS and hospital audit data show high compliance rates, but direct observation suggests that actual performance may be suboptimal. In this paper, at each operation that was observed, WHO time-out and sign-out attempts were recorded, and the quality of the time-out was evaluated. The authors concluded that meaningful compliance with the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist is much lower than data suggests.

Length of Publication:  7 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Development and content validation of a surgical safety checklist for operating theatres that use robotic technology

August 29, 2013

Source:  BJU International vol/iss 111/7 pp.1161-74

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Date of publication:  June 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The objective of this study was to identify potential hazards in robot-assisted urological surgery and to develop a checklist to be used in operating theatres with robotic technology. A risk assessment tool, Healthcare Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (HFMEA), was employed in a urology operating theatre with robotic technology in a UK teaching hospital in 2011. A multidisciplinary team identified ‘failure modes’ and potential hazards were rated according to severity and frequency and scored using a ‘hazard score matrix’. HFMEA identified hazards in the operating theatre and this led to the development of a surgical safety checklist.

Length of Publication:  14 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Retained surgical sponges, needles and instruments

May 29, 2013

Source:  Ann R Coll Surg Engl. Vol/iss 95/2 pp. 87-92

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Date of publication:  March 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  Retained sponges and instruments (RSI) due to surgery are a recognised medical ‘never event’. The aim of this review was to reveal the extent of the problem of RSI and to detect preventative strategies. Vigilance among operating theatre personnel is paramount if RSI is to be prevented.

Length of Publication:  6 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.


Perception of patient safety differs by clinical area and discipline.

February 25, 2013

Source:  Br J Anaesth Vol/iss 110/1 pp.107-14

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Date of publication:  January 2013

Publication type:  Journal article

In a nutshell:  The influence of the operating theatre, intensive care unit, and disciplines on ratings of latent risk factors are explored in this study. An understanding of the contribution made by these factors leads to the identification of significant points from which to promote a safe environment. Strategies for improving patient safety should be tailored specifically for various clinical areas and disciplines.

Length of Publication:  8 pages

Some important notes:  Please contact your local NHS Library for the full text of the article. Follow this link to find your local NHS Library.