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Minerva Anestesiologica 2023 December;89(12):1115-26

DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.23.16729-0

Copyright © 2023 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Beyond the self: a novel framework to enhance non-technical team skills for anesthesiologists

Deborah W. KHOO 1 , Andrew J. ROSCOE 1, 2, Nian C. HWANG 1, 2

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore, Singapore; 2 Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia, National Heart Center Singapore, Singapore, Singapore



Human factors and non-technical skills (NTS) have been identified as essential contributors to both the propagation and prevention of medical errors in the operating room. Despite extensive study and interventions to nurture and enhance NTS in anesthesiologists, gaps to effective team practice and patient safety remain. Furthermore, the link between added NTS training and clinically significant improved outcomes has not yet been demonstrated. We performed a narrative review to summarize the literature on existing systems and initiatives used to measure and nurture NTS in the clinical operating room setting. Controlled interventions performed to nurture NTS (N.=13) were identified and compared. We comment on the body of current evidence and highlight the achievements and limitations of interventions published thus far. We then propose a novel education and training framework to further develop and enhance non-technical skills in both individual anesthesiologists and operating room teams. We use the cardiac anesthesiology environment as a starting point to illustrate its use, with clinical examples. NTS is a key component of enhancing patient safety. Effective framing of its concepts is central to apply individual characteristics and skills in team environments in the OR and achieve tangible, beneficial patient outcomes.


KEY WORDS: Anesthesia; Operating rooms; Patient safety; Teaching; Clinical competence; Humans

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