Clinicians’ Perspectives on Proactive Patient Safety Behaviors in the Perioperative Environment

Importance The perioperative environment is hazardous, but patients remain safe with a successful outcome during their care due to staff adaptability and resiliency. The behaviors that support this adaptability and resilience have yet to be defined or analyzed. One Safe Act (OSA), a tool and activity developed to capture self-reported proactive safety behaviors that staff use in their daily practice to promote individual and team-based safe patient care, may allow for improved definition and analysis of these behaviors. Objective To thematically analyze staff behaviors using OSA to understand what may serve as the basis for proactive safety in the perioperative environment. Design, Setting, and Participants This qualitative thematic analysis included a convenience sample of perioperative staff at a single-center, tertiary care academic medical center who participated in an OSA activity during a 6-month period in 2021. All perioperative staff were eligible for inclusion. A combined deductive approach, based on a human factor analysis and classification framework, as well as an inductive approach was used to develop themes and analyze the self-reported staff safety behaviors. Exposures Those selected to participate were asked to join an OSA activity, which was conducted in-person by a facilitator. Participants were to self-reflect about their OSA (proactive safety behavior) and record their experience as free text in an online survey tool. Main Outcome and Measures The primary outcome was the development and application of a set of themes to describe proactive safety behaviors in the perioperative environment. Results A total of 140 participants (33 nurses [23.6%] and 18 trainee physicians [12.9%]), which represented 21.3% of the 657 total perioperative department full-time staff, described 147 behaviors. A total of 8 non–mutually exclusive themes emerged with the following categories and frequency of behaviors: (1) routine-based adaptations (46 responses [31%]); (2) resource availability and assessment adaptations (31 responses [21%]); (3) communication and coordination adaptation (23 responses [16%]); (4) environmental ergonomics adaptation (17 responses [12%]); (5) situational awareness adaptation (12 responses [8%]); (6) personal or team readiness adaptation (8 responses [5%]); (7) education adaptation (5 responses [3%]); and (8) social awareness adaptation (5 responses [3%]). Conclusions and Relevance The OSA activity elicited and captured proactive safety behaviors performed by staff. A set of behavioral themes were identified that may serve as the basis for individual practices of resilience and adaptability that promote patient safety.
This article was originally published in Jama Network Open The version of record is available at:
Duffy C, Menon N, Horak D, et al. Clinicians’ Perspectives on Proactive Patient Safety Behaviors in the Perioperative Environment. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(4):e237621. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.7621