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A ward-round non-technical skills for surgery (WANTSS) taxonomy.

Schuur, Klaas; Murray, Kara; Maran, Nikki; Flin, Rhona; Paterson-Brown, Simon


Klaas Schuur

Kara Murray

Nikki Maran

Rhona Flin

Simon Paterson-Brown


Background: Around half of surgical adverse events occur outside the operating room. However the majority of non-technical skills (NTS) training programs have been developed for the intra-operative environment. Ward rounds are a crucial part of extra-operative care and to date no specific NTS training manual has been developed targeting emergency general surgical ward rounds. Aim: To develop a NTS taxonomy for emergency general surgical ward rounds that can be used to improve surgical team members’ NTS and improve outcomes. Methods: A literature review of existing NTS taxonomies was conducted, followed by semi-structured interviews and observational data collection, to determine good and poor surgical ward round behaviours. These behaviours were reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts and categorised into a taxonomy, using the Non-Technical Skills for Surgeons (NOTSS) taxonomy framework as a guide. Results: The Ward-round Non-Technical Skills for Surgery (WANTSS) taxonomy includes examples of good and poor ward round specific behaviours, grouped into elements and categories. The taxonomy can be used as both a training and teaching manual for the surgical team. Conclusion: Ward rounds are a crucial part of extra-operative surgical care. The WANTSS taxonomy provides surgical teams with a manual to help them improve their ward round NTS.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 30, 2020
Journal Journal of surgical education
Print ISSN 1931-7204
Electronic ISSN 1878-7452
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 77
Issue 2
Pages 369-379
Institution Citation SCHUUR, K., MURRAY, K., MARAN, N., FLIN, R. and PATERSON-BROWN, S. 2020. A ward-round non-technical skills for surgery (WANTSS) taxonomy. Journal of surgical education [online], 77(2), pages 369-379. Available from:
Keywords Non-technical skills (NTS); Taxonomy; Surgery; Ward rounds; Surgical care