Tsafrir Z, Janosek-Albright K, Aoun J, Diaz-Insua M, Abd-El-Barr AE, Schiff L, Talukdar S, Menon M, Munkarah A, Theoharis E, and Eisenstein D. The impact of a wireless audio system on communication in robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery: A prospective controlled trial. PLoS One 2020; 15(1):e0220214.
BACKGROUND: Robotic surgery presents a challenge to effective teamwork and communication in the operating theatre (OR). Our objective was to evaluate the effect of using a wireless audio headset device on communication, efficiency and patient outcome in robotic surgery.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: A prospective controlled trial of team members participating in gynecologic and urologic robotic procedures between January and March 2015. In the first phase, all surgeries were performed without headsets (control), followed by the intervention phase where all team members used the wireless headsets. Noise levels were measured during both phases. After each case, all team members evaluated the quality of communication, performance, teamwork and mental load using a validated 14-point questionnaire graded on a 1-10 scale. Higher overall scores indicated better communication and efficiency. Clinical and surgical data of all patients in the study were retrieved, analyzed and correlated with the survey results. The study included 137 procedures, yielding 843 questionnaires with an overall response rate of 89% (843/943). Self-reported communication quality was better in cases where headsets were used (113.0 ± 1.6 vs. 101.4 ± 1.6; p < .001). Use of headsets reduced the percentage of time with a noise level above 70 dB at the console (8.2% ± 0.6 vs. 5.3% ± 0.6, p < .001), but had no significant effect on length of surgery nor postoperative complications.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of wireless headset devices improved quality of communication between team members and reduced the peak noise level in the robotic OR.