The effects of a hands-free communication device system in a surgical suite

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This case report describes a qualitative investigation into how a Hands-free Communication Device (HCD) system impacted communication among anesthesia staff in a pediatric surgical suite. The authors recruited a purposive sample that included anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists, circulating nurses, a charge nurse, and a postanesthesia care unit nurse. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and observations, then analyzed using a constant comparison approach. The results corroborate and enrich themes that were discovered in a previous qualitative study of HCD systems: (1) communication access, (2) control, (3) training, (4) environment and infrastructure. The results also generated new subthemes and themes: (1) technical control, (2) choosing communication channels, and (3) reliability. The authors conclude that HCD systems profoundly impacted communication in a largely positive way, although reliability of the technology remained an issue. The authors' findings contribute a valuable insight into the growing body of knowledge about implementation and use of HCD systems.

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