Identifier Bouffants: An Exploration of the Impact on Verbal Communication Amongst Interdisciplinary Operating Room Personnel
Grogan, Megan Regina
Patient safety is negatively impacted when interdisciplinary operating room personnel fail to communicate.1 Failures in verbal communication are often due to unfamiliarity among team members.1 Although name and position recognition have been found to be beneficial in enhancing communication,2 there are many instances when the members of the interdisciplinary team do not know the names or positions of their colleagues in the operating room (OR) as name badges are often obscured under sterile scrub attire. The primary purpose of this study was to explore whether or not the use of identifier bouffants, which provide a visual cue of the anesthesia provider’s name and position on their forehead, impact verbal communication and familiarity within the operating room team.This study was conducted using a quasi-experimental design using a convenience sample of 72 members of the interdisciplinary operating room personnel. Subjects were recruited from two suburban acute-care hospitals located in Virginia. Each primary licensed anesthesia provider assigned to an OR was asked to wear an identifier bouffant throughout the duration of the work day. The remaining members of the interdisciplinary operating room team did not wear an identifier bouffant. Anesthesia providers, surgical attendings, surgical assistants, scrub technicians, and registered nurses were asked to fill out a paper survey at the completion of each experimental day using a 6-point Likert scale to measure their perceptions of the impact of the identifier bouffant on intraoperative communication and familiarity.A significant association was identified between the presence of an identifier bouffant in the operating room and self-reported increased communication amongst the interdisciplinary operating room team (z = 5.42, p
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