How do you maintain peak performance in the operating room?

How do you maintain peak performance in the operating room?

“Operating rooms always deliver peak performance, and I wanted to know what components make this happen.” So says Eduard Schmidt, assistant professor at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University.

“We investigate whether people feel free to address their colleagues, even in situations where there is a lot of pressure, for example if they become rude or directive,” says Schmidt. “You will find in the literature plenty of evidence that when everyone dares to speak up, better decisions are often made than when someone blindly follows.”

According to Hamming, the surgery was more hierarchical than it is today. “It sometimes led to complicated scenes.” The surgeon says he considers it important in his leadership to include everyone during the operation. “If you’re intensely involved in a process—and certainly if it’s a bit tense—you tend to kind of narrow the world. You don’t then see what’s going on around you. That’s a deadlock, and then it’s very nice if there are people who take you out of that focus. That way it keeps checking if we’re on the right track.”

Hamming states that training in surgery has placed greater emphasis on collaboration and communication in the past 15 years. “It’s not just about your medical competencies, it’s also about your professional demeanor. There was no such interest in the past.”

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