This study investigates the relationships between team dynamics and performance in healthcare operations. Specifically, it explores, through wearable sensors, how team coordination mechanisms can influence the likelihood of surgical glitches during routine surgery.
Breast surgeries of a large Italian university hospital were monitored using Sociometric Badges – wearable sensors developed at MIT Media Lab – for collecting objective and systematic measures of individual and group behaviors in real time. Data retrieved were used to analyze team coordination mechanisms, as it evolved in the real settings, and finally to test the research hypotheses.
Findings highlight that a relevant portion of glitches in routine surgery is caused by improper team coordination practices. In particular, results show that the likelihood of glitches decreases when practitioners adopt implicit coordination mechanisms rather than explicit ones. In addition, team cohesion appears to be positively related with the surgical performance.
For the first time, direct, objective and real time measurements of team behaviors have enabled an in-depth evaluation of the team coordination mechanisms in surgery and the impact on surgical glitches. From a methodological perspective, this research also represents an early attempt to investigate coordination behaviors in dynamic and complex operating environments using wearable sensor tools.
Stefanini, A., Aloini, D. and Gloor, P. (2020), "Silence is golden: the role of team coordination in health operations", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 40 No. 9, pp. 1421-1447. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-12-2019-0792Download as .RIS
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