, Volume 471, Issue 6, pp 1792-1800
Date: 06 Dec 2012

Critical Roles of Orthopaedic Surgeon Leadership in Healthcare Systems to Improve Orthopaedic Surgical Patient Safety

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access
Topic
General

Abstract

Background

The prevention of medical and surgical harm remains an important public health problem despite increased awareness and implementation of safety programs. Successful introduction and maintenance of surgical safety programs require both surgeon leadership and collaborative surgeon-hospital alignment. Documentation of success of such surgical safety programs in orthopaedic practice is limited.

Questions/purposes

We describe the scope of orthopaedic surgical patient safety issues, define critical elements of orthopaedic surgical safety, and outline leadership roles for orthopaedic surgeons needed to establish and sustain a culture of safety in contemporary healthcare systems.

Methods

We identified the most common causes of preventable surgical harm based on adverse and sentinel surgical events reported to The Joint Commission. A comprehensive literature review through a MEDLINE® database search (January 1982 through April 2012) to identify pertinent orthopaedic surgical safety articles found 14 articles. Where gaps in orthopaedic literature were identified, the review was supplemented by 22 nonorthopaedic surgical references. Our final review included 36 articles.

Results

Six important surgical safety program elements needed to eliminate preventable surgical harm were identified: (1) effective surgical team communication, (2) proper informed consent, (3) implementation and regular use of surgical checklists, (4) proper surgical site/procedure identification, (5) reduction of surgical team distractions, and (6) routine surgical data collection and analysis to improve the safety and quality of surgical patient care.

Conclusions

Successful surgical safety programs require a culture of safety supported by all six key surgical safety program elements, active surgeon champions, and collaborative hospital and/or administrative support designed to enhance surgical safety and improve surgical patient outcomes. Further research measuring improvements from such surgical safety systems in orthopaedic care is needed.

Each author certifies that he or she, or a member of his or her immediate family, has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
All ICMJE Conflict of Interest Forms for authors and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research editors and board members are on file with the publication and can be viewed on request.
This work was performed at NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL, USA.