Opioid misuse is an urgent patient safety issue, including postsurgical opioid misuse among pediatric patients. Based on the systematic review, a multidisciplinary group of health care and opioid stewardship experts proposes evidence-based opioid prescribing guidelines for children who need surgery. Endorsed guideline statements highlight three primary themes for perioperative pain management in children: (1) health care professionals must recognize the risks of pediatric opioid misuse, (2) use non-opioid pain relief, and (3) pre- and post-operative education for patients and families regarding pain management and safe opioid use.
Bickham P, Golembiewski J, Meyer T, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:903-820.
Pharmacists working with surgical teams bring distinct safety context, expertise, and process awareness to perioperative care. These guidelines outline how pharmacists can help reduce medication errors before, during, and after surgery. Perioperative pharmacists can enhance communication, medication histories, and process reliability.
Lefebvre G, Calder LA, De Gorter R, et al. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2019;41:653-659.
Obstetrics is a high-risk practice that concurrently manages the safety of mothers and newborns. This commentary describes the importance of standardization, checklist use, auditing and feedback, peer coaching, and interdisciplinary communication as strategies to reduce risks. The discussion spotlights the need for national guidelines and definitions to reduce variation in auditing and training activities and calls for heightened engagement of health care professionals to improve the safety and quality of obstetric care in Canada. An Annual Perspective reviewed work on improving maternal safety.
Munoz-Price S, Bowdle A, Johnston L, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2018:1-17.
This expert guidance provides recommendations to help health care facilities develop policies for preventing health care–associated infections in the operating room. The authors build on existing anesthesia safety practices to outline specific actions for infection prevention and control.
Gelb AW, Morriss WW, Johnson W, et al. Anesth Analg. 2018;126:2047-2055.
Safe anesthesia is a global concern. These standards provide guidance and recommendations for clinicians, administrators, and governments as they review, implement, and manage anesthesia services in a variety of care environments. The standards center on themes related to professional qualification; facilities and equipment; medications and intravenous fluids; monitoring; and anesthesia delivery.
Incidents involving maternal harm require analysis to provide learning and assist design of prevention strategies. This consensus document outlines an organizational process to determine cases for review and provides a set of diagnostic and complication screening criteria to assess severe maternal morbidity incidents for quality review. The document supersedes the Sentinel Event Alert on maternal harm.
Ban KA, Minei JP, Laronga C, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2017;224:59-74.
Surgical site infections are a persistent and costly challenge to patient safety. These guidelines provide recommendations to reduce this common hospital-acquired condition, including policies for surgeon attire, hand hygiene, and equipment sterilization.
Improvement AC of O and GC on PS and Q. Obstet Gynecol. 2014;123:722-5.
This guideline details strategies to ensure care teams in obstetrics and gynecology are prepared to safely manage emergencies. Recommendations include incident debriefings, early warning systems, rapid response systems, and structured communication tools.
Wahr JA, Prager RL, Abernathy JH, et al. Circulation. 2013;128:1139-1169.
This scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) reviews the current state of knowledge on safety issues in the operating room (OR) and provides detailed recommendations for hospitals to implement to improve safety and patient outcomes. These recommendations include using checklists and formal handoff protocols for every procedure, teamwork training and other approaches to enhance safety culture, applying human factors engineering principles to optimize OR design and minimize fatigue, and taking steps to discourage disruptive behavior by clinicians. AHA scientific statements, which are considered the standard of care for cardiac patients, have traditionally focused on clinical issues, but this article (and an earlier statement on medication error prevention) illustrates the critical importance of ensuring safety in this complex group of patients.
Chow WB, Rosenthal RA, Merkow RP, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2012;215:453-66.
This guideline describes recommendations for preoperative assessment of elderly surgical patients, including risk factors for postoperative delirium and pulmonary complications, to enhance safety and reduce readmissions.
Remick K, Gausche-Hill M, Joseph MM, et al. Pediatrics. 2018;142.
This revised set of guidelines suggests standards to ensure high-quality care for pediatric patients in the emergency department, including a section on improving patient safety. Key recommendations focus on pediatric emergency care coordinators and implementing quality control mechanisms.
This guidance statement outlines recommendations from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) for developing, implementing, and evaluating safe medication practices in the perioperative environment.
This revision of the 2006 committee statement provides a series of recommendations responding to issues that contribute to errors within the operative theater and highlights checklists as one approach to improvement.
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