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Ghaith S, Campbell RL, Pollock JR, et al. Healthcare (Basel). 2022;10:1328.
Obstetric and gynecologic (OB/GYN) physicians are frequently involved in malpractice lawsuits, some of which result in catastrophic payouts. This study categorized malpractice claims involving OB/GYN trainees (students, residents, and fellows) between 1986 and 2020. Cases are categorized by type of injury, patient outcome, category of error, outcome of lawsuit, and amount of settlement.
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.
Bicket MC, Waljee JF, Hilliard P. JAMA Health Forum. 2022;3:e221356.
Concern for improved prescribing of opiates motivated the development of programs and policies that have inadvertently caused new problems. This commentary discusses the impact of nonopioid use during surgery as a patient preference. It discusses the potential for adverse impacts of the strategy while recognizing the unique situation of perioperative use of pain medications.

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.
Oliver JB, Kunac A, McFarlane JL, et al. JAMA Surg. 2022;157:211-219.
Physician autonomy is an important component to medical training, but carries risks to patient safety. This retrospective cohort study used VA Surgical Quality Improvement Program (VASQIP) data from July 2004 through September 2019 to examine resident operative autonomy impacts patient outcomes. Findings indicate that surgical procedures performed by residents alone were not associated with higher rates of mortality or morbidity compared to procedures performed with the assistance of attending surgeons or by attending surgeons alone.
Etheridge JC, Moyal-Smith R, Sonnay Y, et al. Int J Surg. 2022;98:106210.
Non-technical skills such as communication, teamwork, decision-making, and situational awareness are responsible for a significant proportion of surgical errors. The COVID-19 pandemic increased the stress in the operating room, associated with increased risk of exposure and shortage of resources. This study compared pre- and post-COVID direct observations during live operations and found that non-technical skills were equivalent; there was a small, but statistically significant, improvement in teamwork and cooperation skills.
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.

This case involves a 2-year-old girl with acute myelogenous leukemia and thrombocytopenia (platelet count 26,000 per microliter) who underwent implantation of a central venous catheter with a subcutaneous port. The anesthetist asked the surgeon to order a platelet transfusion to increase the child’s platelet count to above 50,000 per microliter. In the post-anesthesia care unit, the patient’s arterial blood pressure started fluctuating and she developed cardiac arrest.

Ellis R, Hardie JA, Summerton DJ, et al. Surg. 2021;59:752-756.
Many non-urgent, non-cancer surgeries were postponed or canceled during COVID-19 surges resulting in a potential loss of surgeons’ “currency”. This commentary discusses the benefits of, and barriers to, dual surgeon operating as a way to increase currency as elective surgeries are resumed.

A seven-year-old girl with esophageal stenosis underwent upper endoscopy with esophageal dilation under general anesthesia. During the procedure, she was fully monitored with a continuous arterial oxygen saturation probe, heart rate monitors, two-lead electrocardiography, continuous capnography, and non-invasive arterial blood pressure measurements.

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.
Awan M, Zagales I, McKenney M, et al. J Surg Educ. 2021;78:e35-e46.
In 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) updated the duty hour restrictions (DHR) for medical residents to increase resident well-being. This review focused on surgical patient outcomes, resident case volume, and resident quality of life following the implementation of the 2011 update. Results showed DHR did not improve patient safety or surgical resident quality of life. The authors suggest future revisions meant to improve resident well-being not focus solely on hours worked in a single shift or week.

Two separate patients undergoing urogynecologic procedures were discharged from the hospital with vaginal packing unintentionally left in the vagina. Both cases are representative of the challenges of identifying and preventing retained orifice packing, the critical role of clear handoff communication, and the need for organizational cultures which encourage health care providers to communicate and collaborate with each other to optimize patient safety.

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.
Urman RD, Seger DL, Fiskio JM, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e76-e83.
Harm from opioids is a widely recognized patient safety issue, and potential harm associated with short-term use is a growing area of concern. This analysis of a previously opioid-free surgical population identified a high rate of potential opioid-related adverse drug events (ORADEs); risk was strongly associated with route and duration of post-operative opioid administration. The presence of an ORADE was associated with longer postoperative length of stay, higher hospitalization costs, lower odds of discharge home, and higher odds of death.
Koike D, Nomura Y, Nagai M, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2020;32:522-530.
Nontechnical skills are gaining interest as one way to enhance surgical team performance and patient safety. In this single-center study, the authors found that a perioperative bundle that introduced nontechnical skills to the surgical team was effective in reducing operative time.   
Mazzola SM, Grous C. AORN J. 2020;112:397-405.
This article describes strategies implemented by one hospital to help ensure patient and staff member safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, including use of personal protective equipment, decontamination efforts, mass temperature screenings, universal preprocedure testing, procedure prioritization, and modified workflows, as well as mental health support for front line clinicians and staff.