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van Dalen ASHM, Jung JJ, Nieveen van Dijkum EJM, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:617-623.
Leveraging lessons learned in aviation, patient safety researchers have begun exploring the use of medical data recorders (i.e., “black boxes”) to identify errors and threats to patient safety. This cross-sectional study found that a medical data recorder identified an average of 53 safety threats or resilience support events among 35 standard laparoscopic procedures. These events primarily involved communication failures, poor teamwork, and situational awareness failures.

Farnborough, UK; Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch; May 26, 2022.

Surgical equipment sterilization can be hampered by equipment design, production pressures, process complexity and policy misalignment. This report examines a case of unclean surgical instrument use. It recommends external sterile service assessment and competency review as steps toward improving the reliability of instrument decontamination processes in the National Health Service.
Long JA, Webster CS, Holliday T, et al. Simul Healthc. 2022;17:e38-e44.
Simulation training is a valuable tool to improve patient care. In this study, researchers explored latent safety threats identified during multidisciplinary simulation-based team training delivered to 21 hospitals in New Zealand. Common latent threats were related to knowledge and skills, team factors, task- or technology-related factors, and work environment threats.
Urban D, Burian BK, Patel K, et al. Ann Surg. 2021;2:e075.
The WHO surgical safety checklist has been implemented in healthcare systems around the world. Survey responses from 2,032 surgical team members from high-income countries suggest that most respondents perceive the checklist as enhancing patient safety, but that not all team members are engaging with its use or feel confident in their role in the checklist process.
Gillespie BM, Harbeck EL, Kang E, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e448-e454.
Nontechnical skills such as teamwork and communication can influence surgical performance. This Australian hospital implemented a team training program for surgical teams focused on improving individual and shared situational awareness which led to improvements in nontechnical skills.

A 34-year-old morbidly obese man was placed under general anesthesia to treat a pilonidal abscess. Upon initial evaluation by an anesthesiologist, he was found to have a short thick neck, suggesting that endotracheal intubation might be difficult. A fellow anesthetist suggested use of video-laryngoscopy equipment, but the attending anesthesiologist rejected the suggestion. A first-year resident attempted to intubate the patient but failed.

Aaberg OR, Hall-Lord ML, Husebø SIE, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2021;21:114.
TeamSTEPPS is a patient safety intervention designed to improve teamwork and communication in healthcare settings. One Norwegian hospital utilized TeamSTEPPS to improve professional and organizational outcomes in the urology and gastrointestinal surgery ward. Twelve months after implementation, researchers observed sustained improvements in three patient safety culture dimensions and three teamwork dimensions. Further studies with larger same size and stronger study designs are warranted.
Ruskin KJ, Ruskin AC, O’Connor M. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2020;33:788-792.
Task automation in medicine is a core safety tactic that can also create new opportunities for error. This review examines automation failures in anesthesiology. The authors suggest that competency training and demonstration should be embraced to ensure safe use of automated medical equipment such as infusion pumps and electronic health records.   

A 73-year-old female underwent a craniotomy and aneurysm clipping to resolve a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to a ruptured aneurysm. The neurosurgery resident confirmed the presence of neuromonitoring with the Operating Room (OR) front desk but the neuromonitoring technician never arrived and the surgeon – who arrived after the pre-op huddle – decided to proceed with the procedure in their absence. Although no problems were identified during surgery, the patient emerged from anesthesia with left-sided paralysis, and post-op imaging showed evidence of a new stroke.

Dekker - van Doorn C, Wauben LSGL, van Wijngaarden JDH, et al. BMC Health Serv Res. 2020;20:426.
This study explored whether combining participatory design and experiential learning supports the adaptation and adoption of TOPplus, which is a communication tool to support and improve communication and teamwork among the operating room team. Adaptation varied amongst the ten participating Dutch hospitals, but all implemented the intervention with all surgical disciplines, and this approach gave teams the opportunity to adapt the intervention to fit their needs and local context. 
Rosen DA, Criser AL, Petrone AB, et al. J Patient Saf. 2019;15:e90-e93.
This pre–post study found that color-coded head coverings in the operating room significantly decreased misidentification of attending physicians versus medical students. The authors recommend implementation of this highly feasible solution to enhance proper role identification in the surgical setting.
Cumin D, Skilton C, Weller J. BMJ Qual Saf. 2017;26:209-216.
Standardized tools such as the surgical safety checklist have been implemented in order to improve intraoperative communication between members of the surgical team. However, this simulation study found that much communication about important clinical information took place outside of scheduled formal discussion times, and junior members of the team were more hesitant to speak up about potential patient safety issues.
van der Nelson HA, Siassakos D, Bennett J, et al. Am J Med Qual. 2014;29:78-82.
A teamwork training simulation program that previously improved directed communication in obstetrics was adapted for three surgical wards at a teaching hospital. This educational intervention was associated with significantly enhanced safety culture.
Following an appendectomy, an elderly man continued to have right lower quadrant pain. Reviewing the specimen removed during the surgery, the pathologist found no appendiceal tissue. The patient was emergently taken back to the OR, and the appendix was located and removed.
Haller G, Myles PS, Taffé P, et al. BMJ. 2009;339:b3974.
The so-called July phenomenon, in which errors are supposedly more common in July due to an influx of inexperienced residents and students, has long been a source of gallows humor in hospitals. Although prior studies have reached mixed conclusions, this Australian study of anesthesia errors did find a significant increase in preventable adverse events for procedures performed by trainees during the first 4 months of the academic year. Interestingly, error rates were higher for trainees at all levels, not just first-year residents. This finding implies that underlying systems issues as well as clinical inexperience resulted in adverse events. An accompanying editorial calls for revising training models in order to provide adequate supervision and support for new trainees. A case of inadvertent hypoglycemia resulting from an intern's lack of familiarity with insulin ordering at his new hospital is discussed in an AHRQ WebM&M commentary.