MEASURING NON-TECHNICAL SKILLS IN ANAESTHESIA
 
Flin, R., Fletcher, G. and McGeorge, P., University of Aberdeen and Glavin, R. and Maran, N., Scottish Clinical Simulation Centre, United Kingdom
 
This paper describes the development of a prototype behavioural marker system for assessing anaesthetists' non-technical skills (ANTS). The first stage was to identify the non-technical skills that underpin good anaesthetic practice from a review of the literature and from a survey of existing marker systems. Cognitive task analysis was carried out using critical incident interviews with 29 anaesthetists. From the review and the interviews, the most critical, observable non-technical skills were selected and structured into a hierarchical taxonomy. This was refined on the basis of observations in the operating theatre, re-coding of the interviews and a review of critical incident reports. The resulting ANTS system prototype comprises four main skill categories: task management, team working, situation awareness and decision making decomposed into 15 descriptive skill elements, plus behavioural markers (example behaviours) for each element. The paper will also describe the evaluation study which has been undertaken that involves consultant anaesthetists' rating videotaped scenarios of anaesthetists' behaviour, using the ANTS system.