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Published Wednesday 7 Mar 2018

Surgical teams are being put through their paces in new training that challenges them to improve their communication and teamwork.

Multidisciplinary operating room simulation (pictured) is a national team training intervention programme for surgical teams that is currently being implemented at Capital & Coast DHB.

It is funded by the Accident Compensation Corporation, delivered by the University of Auckland, and supported by the Health Quality and Safety Commission.

“The programme aims to improve outcomes for patients undergoing surgery by focusing on communication and teamwork between operating room staff,” said project manager Noreen McMahon, who is managing the implementation for the DHB.

The implementation involves training staff to deliver the programme and teaching surgical teams in real time in their departments.

The training encompasses vascular, ENT, orthopaedics, urology, and general surgery. It involves around eight hours of interactive sessions including challenging simulated surgical cases, debriefs, and communication skills training. The scenarios include cases – and the appropriate models – for all five surgical specialties, and engage each member of the multidisciplinary surgical team.

“Fourteen of our surgeons, anaesthetists, anaesthetic technicians and theatre nurses completed multidisciplinary operating room simulation instructor training in November and will share the programme with their teams. The aim is for all staff working in the operating theatre to participate regularly in the training.”

For more information about multidisciplinary operating room simulation, visit

Media contact: Chas Te Runa – 027 230 9571