The Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) in Chicago endorses a safe surgery resource chart to reduce the risk of noise and distraction in the perioperative period. The chart emphasizes attention to noise and distraction, infection control, and privacy.
In a recent study on the effect of distractions on surgical teams, the researchers determined that some distractions might be inevitable in the OR, but that they can be detrimental.1 The study looked at distractions such as irrelevant conversations, equipment-related distractions, and acoustic distractions. Distractions were tied to lower teamwork, poorer team performance, higher stress, and higher workload.
In the CSPS chart, the group recommends a multidisciplinary team approach to reduce the level of noise and create a safer environment for patients. It emphasizes that noise takes away from the silence team members might need to perform operations safely. It also warns that the use of cellular phones and accessories can cause distraction and bacterial contamination, which might compromise a sterile perioperative environment. (For more issues with cell phones, see “Anesthesiologist accused of sexting in surgery — Take steps to prevent now,” Same-Day Surgery, September 2014, p. 89.) Lastly, the chart recommends that each hospital’s policy should determine if it is appropriate to take and transmit photos of patients. (See the role of a phone policy in “Malpractice caused Joan Rivers’ death, critics say,” SDS, February 2015.)
The group developed the chart to raise awareness about noise and distractions after reviewing recommendations from its member organizations. “We’re asking everyone to be prudent lest a bad event occur to patients and staff as a result of a distraction,” said Roy Constantine, CSPS treasurer.
CSPS encourages all hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and procedural areas to use the chart. The chart can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/1ctIj5L.
The CSPS is a coalition that includes the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, American Association of Surgical Physician Assistants, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses, Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, and Association of Surgical Technologists.
1. Wheelock A, Suliman A, Wharton R, et al. The impact of operating room distractions on stress, workload, and teamwork. Ann Surg 2015; 261(6):1079-1084; doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000001051.