A multicentre observational study to evaluate a new tool to assess emergency physicians' non-technical skills.
Flowerdew L., Gaunt A., Spedding J., Bhargava A., Brown R., Vincent C., Woloshynowych M.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a new tool to assess emergency physicians' non-technical skills. METHODS: This was a multicentre observational study using data collected at four emergency departments in England. A proportion of observations used paired observers to obtain data for inter-rater reliability. Data were also collected for test-retest reliability, observability of skills, mean ratings and dispersion of ratings for each skill, as well as a comparison of skill level between hospitals. Qualitative data described the range of non-technical skills exhibited by trainees and identified sources of rater error. RESULTS: 96 assessments of 43 senior trainees were completed. At a scale level, intra-class coefficients were 0.575, 0.532 and 0.419 and using mean scores were 0.824, 0.702 and 0.519. Spearman's ρ for calculating test-retest reliability was 0.70 using mean scores. All skills were observed more than 60% of the time. The skill Maintenance of Standards received the lowest mean rating (4.8 on a nine-point scale) and the highest mean was calculated for Team Building (6.0). Two skills, Supervision & Feedback and Situational Awareness-Gathering Information, had significantly different distributions of ratings across the four hospitals (p<0.04 and 0.007, respectively), and this appeared to be related to the leadership roles of trainees. CONCLUSION: This study shows the performance of the assessment tool is acceptable and provides valuable information to structure the assessment and training of non-technical skills, especially in relation to leadership. The framework of skills may be used to identify areas for development in individual trainees, as well as guide other patient safety interventions.