Centre for Patient Safety and Service Quality (CPSSQ)

Assessing Non-technical Skills in the Emergency Department

Project summary

Background and methods

Emergency medicineThere is increasing awareness that a clinician must not only possess good technical skills but should also be proficient in a variety of interpersonal and cognitive skills. These include decision making, communication and situation awareness. Recognition of the importance of these ‘non-technical skills’ has prompted the development of training courses such as Crisis Resource Management (CRM). However, CRM courses invariably focus on the critically ill patient and little attention has been paid to the non-technical skills that an Emergency Medicine physician requires for the day-to-day running of the department.

The research project started by interviewing Emergency Department staff and asking them what attitudes and behaviours contributed to effective teamwork and safety. Subsequently, a series of observations have been undertaken to identify the non-technical skills required by ED registrars, focussing particularly on leadership skills. The results of these studies have been combined with a literature search and review of relevant curricula to produce a skill set for ED registrars. This will be used to create an observational tool for the assessment of non-technical skills in the Emergency Department.

The next stage of the project is to validate the tool and develop a training course for assessors so that it can be evaluated for reliability, usability and acceptability.

Project aims

  1. To produce an observational tool for the assessment of ED registrar non-technical skills
  2. To evaluate the validity, reliability, usability and acceptability of the tool
  3. To raise awareness of the importance of non-technical skills in the ED

Project team

Key project outputs

Publications

  • Flowerdew L, Gaunt A, Spedding J, Bhargava A, Brown R, Vincent C, Woloshynowych M. A multicentre observational study to evaluate a new tool to assess emergency physicians' non-technical skills. Emerg Med J. 2012. Pubmed
  • Flowerdew L, Brown R, Vincent C, Woloshynowych M. Development and validation of a tool to assess emergency physicians' nontechnical skills. Ann Emerg Med. 2012. Pubmed
  • Flowerdew L, Brown R, Vincent C, Woloshynowych M. Identifying nontechnical skills associated with safety in the emergency department: a scoping review of the literature. Ann Emerg Med. 2012. Pubmed
  • Flowerdew L, Brown R, Russ S, Vincent C, Woloshynowych M. Teams under Pressure in the Emergency Department: An interview study. Emergency Medicine Journal  View here PDF Acrobat Document

 

Conference presentations

  • Flowerdew L. Assessing registrar non-technical skills in the Emergency Department. ISAua Sept 2010 (oral)
  • Flowerdew L. Assessing registrar non-technical skills in the Emergency Department. College of Emergency Medicine conference Sept 2010 (oral)
  • Flowerdew L. Teams under pressure in the Emergency Department - an interview study. College of Emergency Medicine conference Sept 2010 (poster)

Project funder

NIHR

Project start and end dates

August 2008 - February 2011

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