Preoperative surgical briefings do not delay operating room start times and are popular with surgical team members

J Patient Saf. 2011 Sep;7(3):139-43. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e31822a9fbc.


Objectives: : This study was carried out to evaluate the introduction of preoperative safety briefings on operating theater start times. In addition, we assessed staff attitudes toward the safety briefings. Lack of time, motivation, and a negative perception in staff are often cited as barriers to the implementation of safety briefings.

Methods: : The preoperative safety briefing consisted of a 5- to 10-minute meeting between anesthetic staff, surgeons, and nursing staff to discuss the operating list before the commencement of surgery. Using the hospital database, the operating theater start times were obtained for 2 months before and after the introduction of the safety briefings. A questionnaire using a 5-point Likert scale was distributed to the operating room theater staff to evaluate attitudes toward the safety briefing.

Results: : There was no statistical difference in operating theater start time after the introduction of the safety briefing. The questionnaire responses from 37 theater staff demonstrated positive attitudes toward the safety briefings including agreeing strongly with factors affecting patient safety and communication. This included 97% replying that the safety briefing highlighted potential patient problems, whereas 89% believed it improved communication.

Conclusions: : The safety briefings were popular among staff and did not delay the operating theater start time.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Checklist
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Operating Rooms / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Preoperative Period*
  • Time Factors