Patient safety before, during, and after surgery requires an appropriately educated, committed, and empowered healthcare team, according to recommendations presented at the inaugural National Surgical Patient Safety Summit (NSPSS) in Rosemont, IL.
The goals of the Summit were to develop surgical care and surgical education curricula standards and prioritize safety research efforts.
Technical and non-technical skills are important to successfully and safely perform surgery, the NSPSS said in a released statement. The surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and all supporting staff must ensure consistent use of surgical safety strategies and tools throughout surgical care, including patient-centered shared decision making and timely informed consent, standardized surgical site marking procedures, accurate surgical information transfer, integrated electronic medical records, and effective team communication and coordination, it said.
“Surgical safety improves when non-technical strategies, tools, and behaviors are combined with proficient surgical skills,” said William Robb, MD, co-chair of NSPSS and past chair of the patient safety committee at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Each member of the surgical team needs to know how to effectively communicate and appropriately adapt during an adverse situation.”
Workgroups, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses, convened prior to the summit to prepare draft recommendations for all surgical team members, surgical institutions, medical and nursing schools, surgical residency and fellowship programs, and surgical credentialing organizations. The recommendations include creation and adoption of the following standardized items:
- surgical safety education programs with an assessment of competence for surgeons, residents, medical students, perioperative team members, and surgical institutions on effective communication, resilience, leadership, and teamwork;
- safety training modules (simulation-based) for the entire surgical team: doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, surgical technicians, and physician assistants;
- “shared decision making” practices and procedures to ensure an informed and prepared surgical patient.
The NSPSS recommendations can be accessed by readers online at http://bit.ly/2bj9TCv.