Investigation into speaking-up – the expression of concerns, inquiry in doubt and suggestion of ideas for the further diagnosis and treatment – is a key focus of our research. Speaking-up is essential for the reduction of errors in care, but difficult due to social and personal barriers. In particular, we are interested in:

1. The relationship between speaking-up and patient safety
In a simulation-based study of anaesthesia inductions, we could show that speaking-up of nurses improves team-performance (e.g. for the «perfect induction»). We could also demonstrate that, by speaking-up, adapted approaches could be initiated (e.g. by issuing instructions) and the course of action could be clarified. In addition, results indicated that earlier speaking-up (e.g. before intubation) facilitates later speaking-up.

2. Personal prerequisites which facilitate speaking-up?
In a recent study, we could demonstrate that specific traits (such as assertiveness) facilitate speaking-up.

3. What are the social dynamics of speaking up?
Within an ongoing project we are studying the social dynamics of voice behavior in acute care teams. Building on recent developments in sensor-based measurement as high-frequency, low-cost, and unobtrusive measurement of behavioral data, we address multiple shortcomings of extant studies
of voice in teams. By examining the suitability of sensor-based measurement for this purpose, investigating actual Speaking-Up behavior, and focusing on enabling social dynamics we will contribute to the science of voice in teams and to developing sustainable interventions facilitating Speaking Up.

4. How speaking-up can be trained?
Currently, there are a number of studies inquiring into the design of interventions required for participants to learn speaking-up.

Speaking-up projects

​Adaptive coordination in anaesthesia teams and its relationship to clinical performance​Principle Investigator: Prof Dr. Gudela Grote (ETH Zürich), Co-Investigator: Dr. Tanja Manser; Prof. Dr. Donat R. Spahn; Employees: Dr. Michaela Kolbe, Dr. Michael Burtscher.​Concluded
​Combined technical and non-technical skills training for managing unanticipated difficult intubations​Principle Investigator: Prof Dr. Gudela Grote (ETH Zürich), Co-Investigator: Prof. Dr. Donat R. Spahn; Employees: Dr. Bastian Grande, Dr. Michaela Kolbe, Mona Weiss, Carl Schick.
​Speaking Up for patient safety: Investigating the social dynamics of voice behavior in healthcare​Principle Investigator: PD Dr. Michaela Kolbe; Co-Investigators: Prof. Dr. Stefano Brusoni (ETH Zürich), Dr. Bastian Grande, Dr. Michael Burtscher (University of Zurich)

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