Communication Features Associated with Clinical Performance and Non-technical Skills in Healthcare Settings

2019-12-06T11:05:55Z (GMT) by Yuhao Peng

Effective teamwork and communication are critical to patient outcomes, and subjective assessment tools have been developed for measuring team performance using both technical and non-technical skills. However, inherent biases remain with using subjective assessment tools.

In this study, 3rd-year medical students participated in the Acute Care Trauma Simulation (ACTS). The student performed the role of clinician in a team that included a nurse and a simulated patient. Participants conducted post-operative patient management, patient care diagnoses, and treatment. Audio from all team members was recorded, and speech variables (e.g., speech duration, frequency of interaction, etc.) from student’s audio were extracted.

The models for Research Question I showed that increasing frequency of checkbacks between student and nurse (p<0.05) and speech duration from student to patient (p=0.001) significantly increased student’s clinical performance score. In Research Question II, a positive association (ρ=0.456, p<0.001) between speech duration from student to patient and overall NTS scores was observed, and this correlation was the strongest amongst all other vocal features with overall NTS score.

Both studies showed significant positive relationships between key vocal features (e.g., speech duration), frequency of communication with respect to performance. Metrics and vocal features derived from audio recordings can be measured in predicting clinical performance and NTS, moreover, it can further contribute to the understanding of communication in the healthcare setting. Most importantly, the potential of providing an objective approach for simulation-based trauma care training.