Characterizing the Structure of Operating Room Staffing Using Social Network Analysis

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Background:Very little research has been focused on the interdisciplinary staffing characteristics of the operating room team, an essential component of providing safe patient care in a high-risk setting.Objectives:The aim of this study was to determine how the operating room staffing of two surgical specialties compares in terms of social network variables.Methods:Staffing data from all general and neurosurgical procedures performed at a large Midwestern hospital were analyzed using Social Network Analysis methods. Network variables include centrality, team coreness, and the core/periphery network structure. Multidimensional scaling, correlation, and descriptive statistics were used for the analysis.Results:The core/periphery network structure was characteristic of both surgical services. Team coreness, a measure of how often the team worked together, was associated with the length of the case (p < .001). Procedure start time predicts the team coreness measure, with cases starting later in the day less likely to be staffed with a high core team (p < .001). Registered nurses constitute the majority of core interdisciplinary team members in both groups.Discussion:Analysis of the core/periphery structure of specialty team staffing networks indicates that many procedures are staffed with individuals who are associated peripherally with the specialty. Registered nurses as core group members are in a position to take a leadership role in the communication of norms and process variations to noncore members. The effect of having late starting cases staffed with a lower core team should be studied further because it pertains to patient outcomes. Future work should strive to account for the complex and dynamic nature of team development.

    loading  Loading Related Articles