Poor communication between healthcare professionals in the operating room can lead to adverse outcomes. Lack of adequate communication between surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses can lead to events that endanger the life of any patient. The study of surgical results focuses mainly on risk factors and the professionalism of the head surgeon. However, by focusing on this, scientists miss a large number of factors that have no less influence on the patient and his health. These factors also include effective teamwork and communication between employees.
The correct application of human factors is now an integral part of a safe operating process. The Patient Safety Film Just a Routine Operation (2011) is a clear example of what can happen if communication is not done right. This behavior was evident in the film, as the nurses and the operating department practitioner (ODP) knew the next thing to do was perform a tracheostomy and hospitalize Elaine in intensive care.
Elaine Bromiley’s condition deteriorated due to a lack of effective leadership among health care workers. A patient can survive without oxygen for about ten minutes, after which severe brain damage occurs (Sundstrøm, 2020). In such a situation, the main task of doctors is to find another way to deliver oxygen to the respiratory tract when the question of life and death arises. However, the nurses and the ODP were unable to defend their recommendations due to the evident gap in the hierarchy that existed between them and the doctors.
In addition, the problem in this case was also the lack of an intensive care unit. This barrier, in turn, influenced the timeliness of the transfer of the patient from sanitation to intensive care. Moreover, this factor also increased the period during which Elaine was allowed to breathe spontaneously. However, this critical moment also revealed a gap in knowledge and practice that further impeded the provision of adequate care for the patient with acute traumatic brain injury.
This omission is vividly illustrated in the film, where the doctors decided it would be best if Elaine woke up naturally. The lack of correct organization and knowledge of human factors, as it turned out, only contributed to the development of the patient’s traumatic brain injury. Physician error is the eighth leading source of high deaths in the United States, causing 100,000 deaths annually (Rochlen et al., 2019). Timely admission to the intensive care unit would lead to early hyperventilation and the formation of normocapnia (Sundstrøm, 2020). It was vital in limiting the progress of Elaine’s traumatic brain injury.
The nurses later reported, they were surprised that the doctors did not try to perform a tracheostomy. They also added that everybody assumed they did not have the right to defend their opinions, as they believed that doctors would bias their thoughts (Just a Routine Operation, 2011). The interaction within the medical team in the film is now cited as an example of the ineffective connection of employees.
Poor communication between healthcare providers can mostly lead to catastrophic medical errors that are generally avoidable. Most root causes have been found to analyze a reported contact failure as at least one contributing factor, a causal factor for an adverse event, or a final report. The main consequences of broken communication between health care workers are adverse events in surgery, as well as patient deaths.
Just a routine operation. (2011). [Video]. Web.
Rochlen, L. R., Malloy, K. M., Chang, H., & Kim, S. (2019). Pilot one-hour multidisciplinary team training simulation intervention in the operating room improves team nontechnical skills. Journal of Education in Perioperative Medicine, 21(2). Web.
Sundstrøm, T. (2020). Management of severe traumatic brain injury: Evidence, tricks, and pitfalls. Springer.