This site has not been optimised for Internet Explorer due to Microsoft no longer providing support for the browser. Please view this site using another browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
Te Pū rauemi KOWHEORI-19 COVID-19 resource hub

Support for people working in health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find information about how you can support yourselves and others, including consumers, teams and colleagues which complements and aligns with Ministry of Health resources.

Kia āta kōwhiri Choosing Wisely

The Choosing Wisely campaign seeks to reduce harm from unnecessary and low-value tests and treatment.

Back to previous page

Surgical Safety Culture Survey Research Report 2017

16 Nov 2021

Safe Surgery NZ aims to make surgery safer by improving teamwork and communication in the operating theatre. The 2017 Surgical Safety Culture Survey demonstrates an improvement in the attitudes and perceptions of surgical team members across New Zealand. 

Key findings

  • The 2017 survey highlights improvement across the majority of dimensions/factors since 2015. The areas with the greatest improvements include communication, adherence to established safety practices and coordination.

  • 85 percent of respondents agreed that surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses work together as a well-coordinated team (up from 77 percent in 2015). 

  • 71 percent agreed that team discussions (such as surgical briefings and debriefings) were common (up from 51 percent).

  • 67 percent agreed that surgical teams always discuss the operative plan before incision (up from 52 percent).

  • 61 percent agreed that post-operative debriefings always include a discussion of key concerns for patient recovery and post-op management (up from 53 percent).

  • Comments from surgical team members indicate that, while there are still opportunities for improvement, there have been positive shifts in communication, teamwork and buy-in to the Safe Surgery NZ interventions.


Summary results from the 2017 Surgical Safety Culture Survey

Survey dimensions/factors
Average agreement score* 2017 
Average agreement score*
% point difference 2017 vs. 2015
Overall  75% 71% +4%
Contextual (readiness) 72% 71% +1%
Interpersonal (teamwork):  76% 70% +6%
Factor 1: Communication  73% 63%  +10%
Factor 2: Coordination 80% 72% +8%
Factor 3: Respect 80% 74% +6%
Factor 4: Assertiveness 79% 76%  +3%
Factor 5: Clinical Leadership  66% 63% +3%
Practical (adherence)  71%  62% +9%
Consequential (other items) 82% 81%  +1%
Additional questions  73% 70% +3%

Published: 16 Nov 2021 Modified: 16 Nov 2021