The Importance of Effective Communication in the Perioperative Setting

Group of surgeons talking

Stakes are high in the perioperative suite. In fact, it is plausible to believe that they could not possibly be any higher, given that patients’ lives are at stake. When seconds count, communication is critical. Communication is also vital in avoiding surgical delays, turning over rooms quickly and keeping departments staffed optimally. Whether the scenario is emergent or noncritical, the best surgical departments are built upon foundations of excellent communication.

Implications of Poor Communication in the Perioperative Suite

Ineffective communication in the perioperative setting can contribute to an unsafe operating room (OR) culture. It can also impact patient safety, employee engagement, decision making, productivity, morale and staff retention. These implications may manifest in the forms of surgical delays, lack of patient care and in extreme cases—fatal errors. When critical details are overlooked or go undocumented, it could result in implementing incorrect orders, overlooking or failing to document a change in status or giving (or accepting) ambiguous telephone orders. Poor communication in the perioperative suite can have serious implications. That’s why our goal at CCI Anesthesia is to provide our clients with the best communication practices that will have their perioperative processes functioning efficiently.

Simplifying the Communication Process

Standardizing communication across all departments participating in the perioperative suite is important. Additionally, every team player needs a clearly defined, meaningful role in the communication process. This takes effective, thoughtful staffing and guidelines for teamwork and cooperation. Even though efforts should be made to keep verbal communication clear and concise, it is also important to be aware of the effects of nonverbal communication, particularly in the OR. When stakes are high, nonverbal communication is highly valuable and should not be disregarded.

Conflict Resolution in the Operating Room

Conflicts will inevitably arise at some point in any operating room. Actively listening, rather than reactively speaking, is important to implement in situations of conflict. Ultimately, patient safety should never be jeopardized due to conflicts among healthcare professionals. Anesthesia providers should always keep patient safety as a top priority, even when tensions are high. Next to patient safety, surgeon satisfaction is one of the most important elements of providing anesthesia care. At CCI Anesthesia, we encourage our anesthesia providers to get to know the surgeons with whom they work. Working collaboratively with surgeons to ensure the best patient outcomes possible is an important part of being an anesthesia provider.

How We Create High-Performing Perioperative Service Lines

As partners to our clients, we have a vested interest in turning their perioperative service lines into well-oiled machines. We offer a full suite of resources to help achieve this, including interim OR director staffing to ensure seamless perioperative leadership transitions. In situations where surgeon staffing and management is problematic, we can offer improvements through our sister company, NexGen Surgical. We recognize that perioperative services are a delicate ecosystem, which is why we do more than simply manage anesthesia. Whatever your perioperative needs include, we can meet them.

Contact us at 800.494.3948 to learn more about how we bring consistency and stability across the entire perioperative spectrum.