Improving the Interdisciplinary Team Work in the Operating Room: Using Relational Coordination as a Framework and Model for Organizational Change

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktFormidling


In surgical teams, where health professionals are highly interdependent and work under time pressure, it is of particular importance that the team work is well-functioning to secure treatment quality and patient safety. Using the theory of relational coordination (RC) may be the key to unlocking the black box of teamwork in search for relational elements critical to successful collaboration and communication. Few single studies exists which explore how RC could be observed and improved in this context. The present study examines surgical teams in selected operating rooms (OR) focusing on RC with the purpose of identifying different ways of communicating and managing relationship in contexts of variable complexity and to develop an intervention program.

An ethnographic field study where data are collected through participant observations (35 teams) and semi-structured interviews (15), over a 10-months period in 2014 in two orthopedic surgical wards in a university hospital. A directed content analysis on the basis of theory of RC is used to transform the data to show different typologies of interdisciplinary team work. RC was subsequently measured using the RC Survey.

Data describe very complex conditions for team work in the OR. Four typologies of interdisciplinary team work are identified. The teams have a varying degree of relationship and coordination based on shared goals and different characteristics of communication are identified. Based on these findings and the results from the measurement of RC an intervention program was developed.

Implications are that implementation of the intervention program may facilitate improvement of positive and efficient relationship in the surgical teams in the OR, thereby enhancing treatment quality and patient safety.
Publikationsdato27 okt. 2016
StatusUdgivet - 27 okt. 2016
BegivenhedAnnual Relational Coordination Research Collaboration Roundtable: Transforming Relationships for High Performance - Portland, USA
Varighed: 27 okt. 201628 okt. 2016
Konferencens nummer: 6


KonferenceAnnual Relational Coordination Research Collaboration Roundtable


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