Studies have shown that approximately one third of operating room communications fail. This has a negative impact on patient safety, with half of all adverse events being attributed to communication failures. However, human factors have the capacity to protect patients. Aviation’s human factors strategies provide guidance for staff and are beneficial in the operating room. Currently, no intervention is universally applied to improve operating room communication and team performance. Closed loop communication, though poorly utilised, has been demonstrated to counteract communication errors, therefore protecting patient safety. In 2018, calls were made to take advantage of theatre caps to display staff member’s name and/or aid staff identification and communication. Further research into this initiative with larger participant numbers in a variety of specialities, especially emergency situations, and with greater scrutiny of infection prevention and control guidelines should be considered.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.