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      Do technical skills correlate with non-technical skills in crisis resource management: a simulation study


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          Both technical skills (TS) and non-technical skills (NTS) are key to ensuring patient safety in acute care practice and effective crisis management. These skills are often taught and assessed separately. We hypothesized that TS and NTS are not independent of each other, and we aimed to evaluate the relationship between TS and NTS during a simulated intraoperative crisis scenario.


          This study was a retrospective analysis of performances from a previously published work. After institutional ethics approval, 50 anaesthesiology residents managed a simulated crisis scenario of an intraoperative cardiac arrest secondary to a malignant arrhythmia. We used a modified Delphi approach to design a TS checklist, specific for the management of a malignant arrhythmia requiring defibrillation. All scenarios were recorded. Each performance was analysed by four independent experts. For each performance, two experts independently rated the technical performance using the TS checklist, and two other experts independently rated NTS using the Anaesthetists' Non-Technical Skills score.


          TS and NTS were significantly correlated to each other ( r=0.45, P<0.05).


          During a simulated 5 min resuscitation requiring crisis resource management, our results indicate that TS and NTS are related to one another. This research provides the basis for future studies evaluating the nature of this relationship, the influence of NTS training on the performance of TS, and to determine whether NTS are generic and transferrable between crises that require different TS.

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          Assessment of clinical performance during simulated crises using both technical and behavioral ratings.

          Techniques are needed to assess anesthesiologists' performance when responding to critical events. Patient simulators allow presentation of similar crisis situations to different clinicians. This study evaluated ratings of performance, and the interrater variability of the ratings, made by multiple independent observers viewing videotapes of simulated crises. Raters scored the videotapes of 14 different teams that were managing two scenarios: malignant hyperthermia (MH) and cardiac arrest. Technical performance and crisis management behaviors were rated. Technical ratings could range from 0.0 to 1.0 based on scenario-specific checklists of appropriate actions. Ratings of 12 crisis management behaviors were made using a five-point ordinal scale. Several statistical assessments of interrater variability were applied. Technical ratings were high for most teams in both scenarios (0.78 +/- 0.08 for MH, 0.83 +/- 0.06 for cardiac arrest). Ratings of crisis management behavior varied, with some teams rated as minimally acceptable or poor (28% for MH, 14% for cardiac arrest). The agreement between raters was fair to excellent, depending on the item rated and the statistical test used. Both technical and behavioral performance can be assessed from videotapes of simulations. The behavioral rating system can be improved; one particular difficulty was aggregating a single rating for a behavior that fluctuated over time. These performance assessment tools might be useful for educational research or for tracking a resident's progress. The rating system needs more refinement before it can be used to assess clinical competence for residency graduation or board certification.
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            Nontechnical skills in anesthesia crisis management with repeated exposure to simulation-based education.

            Critical incident reporting and observational studies have identified nontechnical skills that are vital to successful anesthesia crisis management. Examples of such skills include task management, team working, situation awareness, and decision making. These skills are not necessarily acquired through clinical experience and may need to be specifically taught. This study uses a high-fidelity patient simulator to assess the effect of repeated exposure to simulated anesthesia crises on the nontechnical skills of anesthesia residents. After institutional research board approval and informed consent, 20 anesthesia residents were recruited. Each resident was randomized to participate as the primary anesthesiologist in the management of three different simulated anesthesia crises using a high-fidelity patient simulator. After each session, videotaped footage was used to facilitate debriefing of their nontechnical skills. The videotapes were later reviewed by two expert blinded independent assessors who rated each resident's nontechnical skills by using a previously validated and reliable marking system. : A significant improvement in the nontechnical skills of residents was demonstrated from their first to second session and from their first to third session (both P < 0.005). However from their second to third session, no significant improvement was observed. Interrater reliability between assessors was modest (single rater intraclass correlation = 0.53). A single exposure to anesthesia crises using a high-fidelity patient simulator can improve the nontechnical skills of anesthesia residents. However, an additional simulation session may confer little or no additional benefit.
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              The influence of non-technical performance on technical outcome in laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

              Evidence from other professions suggests that training in teamwork and general cognitive abilities, collectively described as non-technical skills, may reduce accidents and errors. The relationship between non-technical teamwork skills and technical errors was studied using a behavioural marker system validated in aviation and adapted for use in surgery. 26 elective laparoscopic cholecystectomies were observed. Simultaneous assessments were made of surgical technical errors, by observation clinical human reliability assessment (OCHRA) task analysis, and non-technical performance, using the surgical NOTECHS behavioural marker system. NOTECHS assesses four categories: (1) leadership and management, (2) teamwork cooperation, (3) problem-solving and decision-making, (4) situation awareness. Each subteam (nurses, surgeons and anaesthetists) was scored separately on each of the four dimensions. Two observers - one surgical trainee and one human factors expert - were used to assess intra-rater reliability. The mean NOTECHS team score was 35.5 (95% C.I. +/- 1.88). The mean subteam scores for surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses were 13.3 (95% C.I. +/- 0.64), 11.4 (95% C.I. +/- 1.05), and 10.8 (95% C.I. +/- 0.87), respectively, with a significant difference between surgeons and anaesthetists (U = 197, p = 0.009), and surgeons and nurses (U = 0.134, p

                Author and article information

                Br J Anaesth
                Br J Anaesth
                BJA: British Journal of Anaesthesia
                Oxford University Press
                November 2012
                31 July 2012
                31 July 2012
                : 109
                : 5
                : 723-728
                [1 ]Department of Anaesthesiology, Kantonsspital Liestal, University of Basel , Rheinstrasse 26, 4410 Liestal, Switzerland
                [2 ]Department of Anesthesiology, The Ottawa Hospital and
                [3 ]Department of Anesthesiology, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa , Ontario, Canada
                [4 ]The Academy for Innovation in Medical Education, University of Ottawa , 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
                [5 ]Wilson Centre for Education Research and Centennial College Health Studies Department, University of Toronto , Toronto, Ontario, Canada
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. E-mail: nriem@ 123456aol.com
                © The Author [2012]. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Journal of Anaesthesia. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Clinical Practice

                Anesthesiology & Pain management
                patient simulation,medical education,cardiopulmonary resuscitation,clinical competence


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