Please cite this paper as: Siassakos D, Bristowe K, Draycott T, Angouri J, Hambly H, Winter C, Crofts J, Hunt L, Fox R. Clinical efficiency in a simulated emergency and relationship to team behaviours: a multisite cross-sectional study. BJOG 2011;118:596–607.
Objective To identify specific aspects of teamworking associated with greater clinical efficiency in simulated obstetric emergencies.
Design Cross-sectional secondary analysis of video recordings from the Simulation & Fire-drill Evaluation (SaFE) randomised controlled trial.
Setting Six secondary and tertiary maternity units.
Sample A total of 114 randomly selected healthcare professionals, in 19 teams of six members.
Methods Two independent assessors, a clinician and a language communication specialist identified specific teamwork behaviours using a grid derived from the safety literature.
Main outcome measures Relationship between teamwork behaviours and the time to administration of magnesium sulfate, a validated measure of clinical efficiency, was calculated.
Results More efficient teams were likely to (1) have stated (recognised and verbally declared) the emergency (eclampsia) earlier (Kendall’s rank correlation coefficient τb = −0.53, 95% CI from −0.74 to −0.32, P = 0.004); and (2) have managed the critical task using closed-loop communication (task clearly and loudly delegated, accepted, executed and completion acknowledged) (τb = 0.46, 95% CI 0.17–0.74, P = 0.022). Teams that administered magnesium sulfate within the allocated time (10 minutes) had significantly fewer exits from the labour room compared with teams who did not: a median of three (IQR 2–5) versus six exits (IQR 5–6) (P = 0.03, Mann–Whitney U-test).
Conclusions Using administration of an essential drug as a valid surrogate of team efficiency and patient outcome after a simulated emergency, we found that more efficient teams were more likely to exhibit certain team behaviours relating to better handover and task allocation.