007: Changing priorities in the Operating Suite.

November 24, 2014

I conclude my conversation with Kate Mears about changes and developments in Operating Theatre. In this episode, Kate and I reflect upon the operating theatre hierarchy, surgery cancellation, patient advocacy and the use of Time-Out/ Checklists in this critical department. We also discuss the development of safety and quality in healthcare within the Operating Theatre and its impact on both staff and patients. 

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About my guest:

Kate Mears brings more than 30 years experience in Operating Theatre, Peri-Operative Suite and Healthcare Management Consulting to bear. Kate's many years of Nursing have culminated into the career of a much sought-after management consultant, Quality and Safety Specialist and Clinical Educator. Her post-graduate qualifications, including MBA and Master of Public Policy, along with international and inter-cultural experience, allow Kate to provide a unique perspective of healthcare, generally, and the Operating Theatre, specifically.


Episode Shownotes:



  • Visiting Patient Safety System expert and Astronaut: James P. Bagian, MD. (Link)

  • RPA (TV)                      (Link)

  • Activity based Funding (Link)

  • Knife to skin time.         (Link)


  • Emslie, S. Knox, K and Pickstone, M. (eds). 2002. Improving Patient safety: Insights from American, Australian and British healthcare. Emergency Care Research Institute: UK. (Link)

  • Judith Healy. 2008. Safe Surgery in Australian Hospitals: Implementation of the Correct Patient, Correct Site, Correct Procedure Protocol. Report to the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care. Australian National University. 2008. (Link)

  • Laura A. Stokowski. Perioperative Nurses: Dedicated to a Safe Operating Room. Medscape. Oct 11, 2007. (Link)

  • NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. 2009. Saving lives in Surgery: A Guide for Chief Executives in implementing the Surgical Safety Checklist. University of Warwick Campus: Coventry. (Link)  

  • RIichard Novak. 2014. Bullying in the Operating Room. Theanesthesiaconsultant Blog. (Link)

  • Susan Strauss. 2008. A Study on Physician Bullying as Gender Harassment to Female and Male Operating Room Nurses in Minnesota. Minnesota Nursing Accent. November/December, 2008, Vol. 80, No. 6. (Link)

  • Ilana Yurkiewicz. 2014. Medical disrespect. Aeon Magazine. (Link)


Academic References

  • Easton J, McLeod-Mills L and Hau RC. 2012. Theatre Start Time Audit. Victorian Annual Scientific and Fellowship Meeting (AVSFM) (Link)

  • Mears, D. 2002. James P. Bagian on patient safety initiatives. Interview by Deborah Mears. J Healthc Qual. 2002 Jan-Feb;24(1):15-6, 24. (Link)


  • MUNDAY, Judy; KYNOCH, Kathryn; HINES, Sonia. Nurses’ experiences of advocacy in the perioperative department: a systematic review protocol. The JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports, [S.l.], v. 12, n. 5, p. 42 - 53, jun. 2014. ISSN 2202-4433.  doi:10.11124/jbisrir-2014-1458. (Link)

  • D. T. Sydor, M. D. Bould,V. N. Naik, J. Burjorjee,C. Arzola, M. Hayter and Z. Friedman. Challenging authority during a life-threatening crisis: the effect of operating theatre hierarchy. British Journal of Anaesthesia.  November 27, 2012. p 1-9. doi:10.1093/bja/aes396 (Link)

  • Longo, J., (Jan. 31, 2010) "Combating Disruptive Behaviors: Strategies to Promote a Healthy Work Environment" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 15, No. 1, Manuscript 5.​ (Link)


About the Podcast Host:

Craig, is a health and emergency service management specialist with more than 30 years experience in operational management, emergency planning, health service delivery and service redevelopment. More information can be found at www.cahooper.com 



© 2014 C A Hooper trading as Operational Health ABN: 3919566814


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