Development of a behavioural marker system for scrub practitioners' non-technical skills (SPLINTS system)

Lucy Mitchell, Rhona Flin, Steven Yule, Janet Mitchell, Kathy Coutts, George Youngson
Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 2013, 19 (2): 317-23

RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Adverse events still occur despite ongoing efforts to reduce harm to patients. Contributory factors to adverse events are often due to limitations in clinicians' non-technical skills (e.g. communication, situation awareness), rather than deficiencies in technical competence. We developed a behavioural rating system to provide a structured means for teaching and assessing scrub practitioners' (i.e. nurse, technician, operating department practitioner) non-technical skills.

METHOD: Psychologists facilitated focus groups (n = 4) with experienced scrub practitioners (n = 16; 4 in each group) to develop a preliminary taxonomy. Focus groups reviewed lists of non-technical-skill-related behaviours that were extracted from an interview study. The focus groups labelled skill categories and elements and also provided examples of good and poor behaviours for those skills. An expert panel (n = 2 psychologists; n = 1 expert nurse) then used an iterative process to individually and collaboratively review and refine those data to produce a prototype skills taxonomy.

RESULTS: A preliminary taxonomy containing eight non-technical skill categories with 28 underlying elements was produced. The expert panel reduced this to three categories (situation awareness, communication and teamwork, task management), each with three underlying elements. The system was called the Scrub Practitioners' List of Intraoperative Non-Technical Skills system. A scoring system and a user handbook were also developed.

CONCLUSION: A prototype behavioural rating system for scrub practitioners' non-technical skills was developed, to aid in teaching and providing formative assessment. This important aspect of performance is not currently explicitly addressed in any educational route to qualify as a scrub practitioner.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"