The RACS competency of teamwork and collaboration has been discussed in the latest issue of the ANZ Journal of Surgery(ANZJS), the peer-review publication of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).

Reinforcing collaboration and teamwork: the role of team communication and training, written by Nicola M. Hill, MBChB, FRACS (ORL-HNS) and Daniel M. Fisher, MBBS, FRACS (Orth), outlines the impact of collaboration and teamwork in surgery. Dr Nicola Hill is an Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgeon and the Chair of the RACS New Zealand National Board.

Collaboration and teamwork is a core competency for RACS, and reflects the RACS values of integrity, respect and collaboration. This competency specifically details the requirement to work with other health professionals in treatment selection and patient care, as well as working to minimise inter-professional conflict and demonstrating a respectful attitude towards colleagues.

The article outlines how debriefing can be used as a tool to benefit performance, teamwork and communication in surgical practice as well as minimise harm.

Hill and Fisher discuss the benefits of team training programs like the world-leading New Zealand-based team training intervention programme for surgical teams called NetworkZ and the RACS-coordinated Safer Australian Surgical Teams (SAST) program.

The article notes that surgical care is delivered by a team and that the ultimate aim of improved teamwork and communication is improved patient outcomes.

Read the full article

The ANZ Journal of Surgery, published by Wiley-Blackwell, is the pre-eminent surgical journal published in Australia, New Zealand and the South-East Asian region for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. The Journal is dedicated to the promotion of outstanding surgical practice, and research of contemporary and international interest.