I remember walking in patient’s room not long ago when working on a secure dementia unit. The smell of urine was strong and she was putting on a clean pair of depends. A good idea, really, but the problem was she wasn’t taking off the old pair or cleaning herself.
I’ve received several invitations to sign a petition to put camera’s in operating rooms, but I just can’t do it. I can understand the reasoning and passion for creating the campaign especially from those who have been harmed from surgically-related sentinel events. Maybe cameras would help by making the OR team accountable for following protocols and behaving professionally. Surely both would be good, right?
I think we need to fix the underlying problem(s) first! Toxic cultures and workplace violence are contributing to poor communication and ineffective collaboration that lead to mistakes.
The statistics re: errors and surgery are compelling, persistent, and well documented as are the links to communication and people skills. Here are a few blogposts re: the topic with links to resources.
- Similarities in Surgical Errors in USA & UK: What Might These Stats and Nurse Feedback Reveal about People Skills?
- Communication Dynamics & Patient Safety in the Operating Room: Insights for Surgeon, Nurse, Patient Advocate & Administrative Leaders
- Open Letter to The Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging re: 7/14 Hearing on Patient Safety: “More than 1,000 Preventable Deaths a Day is Too Many”!
- Holding space for tough conversations, like @ bullying leads to readiness, enthusiasm & commitment for positive change!
- Questioning Why “Checklists” Work to Optimize Their Use in Patient Safety Interventions
If we don’t make sure that teams are healthy first which can be done with processes like TeamSTEPPS, Crew Resource Management, Whole Systems consulting and Medical Improv, symptoms of these problems will show up somewhere e.g.: pre-op processes and scheduling, recovery room, and recruitment and retention.
Quite frankly, unless I’m feeling a strong sense of organizational support and professionalism with my colleagues, the idea of being recorded all day is enough to make me think twice about working in such an environment.
So with all due respect to the people who are leading this campaign and a genuine interest in addressing the same problems, I am not signing the petition. However, amend it with a caveat to address these concerns first and I will reconsider!
You can learn more about the campaign here: