Journal Article

Safety culture and complications after bariatric surgery.

Birkmeyer NJO, Finks JF, Greenberg CK, et al. Annals of surgery. 2013;257:260-5.

Bariatric surgery—elective surgical procedures designed to induce weight loss in patients with obesity—is becoming increasingly common in the United States. This study, conducted in 22 hospitals in Michigan, examined whether safety culture was associated with the risk of serious complications in patients undergoing bariatric surgery. The authors surveyed operating room nurses and surgeons (using a modified version of the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture) and found that hospitals considered to have stronger safety culture also had significantly fewer serious complications among bariatric surgery patients. Hospitals in which nurses felt teamwork and coordination were poor tended to have the highest complication rates, a finding documented in prior studies of surgical safety culture. This study adds to a growing body of literature that links safety culture to clinical outcomes.