About the Surgical Culture Program
The Surgical Culture Program aims to improve patient outcomes by understanding how the non-technical skills of surgeons and surgical teams affect performance in and out of the operating room. Lack of non-technical skills such as situation awareness, leadership and teamwork have been associated with a significant number of surgical errors, compromising patient safety. We aim to understand which behaviors associated with specific non-technical skills make a difference and formalize training in this area to enhance performance in the most efficient manner with maximum impact on process and outcomes.
Our goals are:
- To develop tools for reliable assessment of non-technical skills
- To add to knowledge by generating evidence for the link between non-technical skills, associated behaviors and outcomes
- To develop programs that can be implemented to improve the non-technical skills of clinicians, enhance team performance, and make surgery safer for patients.
The Surgical Culture Program’s aims and goals are crucial in achieving CSPH’s mission. By enhancing the NTS of surgical teams, the core will advance the science and quality of surgical care delivery. We hope to increase access to non-technical skills training for surgical team members and reduce disparities in care by implementing these programs in locations where we can make most impact on enhancing proficiency, competency and patient safety.
To improve patient outcomes by focusing on intraoperative non-technical skills of surgical teams.
- Douglas Smink, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Surgery, HMS
- Steven Yule, MA, MSc, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, HMS
Fellows and Staff
- Developing and validating specific medical event management training protocols for flight crews on deep space, long‐duration space exploration missions
This project aims to support the space crew performance for the management of medical emergencies during long duration deep space exploration missions (such as Mission to Mars), by developing a non-technical skills taxonomy and an objective measurement tool that identifies the essential astronaut behaviors for effective medical emergency management. Project will also develop a simulation-based training platform with valid medical emergency scenarios for the crew to gain experience of dealing with these rare but highly consequential events in space.
Funding: National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- Developing Standardized Intraoperative Process Models to Enhance Surgical Safety
This project aims to develop and analyze innovative surgical process models (“smart checklists”) to facilitate standardization of critical procedural steps in two common procedures in cardiac surgery (aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass surgery). Project will also evaluate these models by discrete event simulations using full-scale simulated cardiovascular operating room.
Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Validation of the Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS) taxonomy and implementation of a non-technical skills curriculum
This project aims to develop a US context-specific version of the NOTSS assessment tool in partnership with the American College of Surgeons (ACS), Division of Education. This involves conducting a Delphi process with an expert panel to identify key behaviors of surgeons in the operating room to maximize patient safety for developing the NOTSS assessment tool for US. Project will also implement a generalizability study using an online assessment platform, and by running a field validation study in the operating room.
Funding: National Board of Medical Examiners – Stemmler fund for Medical Education
- Operating room team training with simulation program
This three years project aims to provide simulation training to 75 operating room teams. The curriculum focuses on assertiveness, closed loop communication, and proper use of the Safe Surgery Checklist.
- Non-technical skills in the Emergency Department
This project aims to test a behavioral assessment tool for non-technical skills in the Emergency Department. Project is achieving this by implementing experimental studies to establish the impact of non-technical skills on process measures and outcomes in both, simulated and real Emergency Department.
Funding: Khan and Shore Awards, Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
- Surgical NOTSS in resource-variable environments
This project aims to develop a behavior assessment tool and educational curriculum for surgeons’ non-technical skills in resource-variable settings. By gathering data in partnership with four hospitals in Rwanda and a diverse array of surgical team members throughout the country, project is identifying the critical behaviors for successful surgery and unique contextual challenges that must be overcome to continually achieve high performance.
- Provider Awareness and Cultural Dexterity Toolkit for Surgeons (PACTS)
This project aims to develop a cultural competency curriculum tailored for surgical residents. This will serve to enhance the skills of future surgeons in treating patients from culturally diverse backgrounds and will ultimately help eliminate disparities in surgical care
Funding: Harvard Affinity Research Collaborative
This page was last modified on 12/27/2016