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Medical Surprise Anticipation and Recognition Capability: A New Concept for Better Health Care

Abstract

Predicting and preparing for the unforeseen is challenging. Medicine and health care are continuously changing based on science, technology, and regulation. This very process of change creates pathways for surprise and leaves us vulnerable to its impact. The armed forces have established strategies to identify and address surprising events, a framework that can be adapted to benefit the medical community. We introduce Medical Surprise Anticipation and Recognition Capability (SARC), adapted from an established military strategy. SARC is the process of addressing surprising events before they emerge. We explore the framework for mitigating surprise as developed by the Committee on Capability Surprise on U.S. Naval Forces. We recommend further exploration of this concept in health care as a potential asset in our quest towards high reliability.

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Correspondence to Cato T. Laurencin.

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This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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This study was supported by NIH Grant DP109349.

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Laurencin, C.T., McClinton, A. Medical Surprise Anticipation and Recognition Capability: A New Concept for Better Health Care. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 6, 869–873 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-019-00626-4

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Keywords

  • High reliability
  • Quality
  • Improvement
  • Medicine
  • Surprise
  • Capability surprise