Improving team information sharing with a structured call-out in anaesthetic emergencies: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Background.

Sharing information with the team is critical in developing a shared mental model in an emergency, and fundamental to effective teamwork. We developed a structured call-out tool, encapsulated in the acronym ‘SNAPPI’: Stop; Notify; Assessment; Plan; Priorities; Invite ideas. We explored whether a video-based intervention could improve structured call-outs during simulated crises and if this would improve information sharing and medical management.

Methods.

In a simulation-based randomized, blinded study, we evaluated the effect of the video-intervention teaching SNAPPI on scores for SNAPPI, information sharing, and medical management using baseline and follow-up crisis simulations. We assessed information sharing using a probe technique where nurses and technicians received unique, clinically relevant information probes before the simulation. Shared knowledge of probes was measured in a written, post-simulation test. We also scored sharing of diagnostic options with the team and medical management.

Results.

Anaesthetists' scores for SNAPPI were significantly improved, as was the number of diagnostic options they shared. We found a non-significant trend to improve information-probe sharing and medical management in the intervention group, and across all simulations, a significant correlation between SNAPPI and information-probe sharing. Of note, only 27% of the clinically relevant information about the patient provided to the nurse and technician in the pre-simulation information probes was subsequently learnt by the anaesthetist.

Conclusions.

We developed a structured communication tool, SNAPPI, to improve information sharing between anaesthetists and their team, taught it using a video-based intervention, and provide initial evidence to support its value for improving communication in a crisis.

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