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Parker H, Frost J, Day J, et al. PLoS ONE. 2022;17:e0271454.
Prophylactic antimicrobials are frequently prescribed for surgical patients despite the risks of antimicrobial overuse (e.g., resistance). This review summarizes how and why antimicrobials continue to be prescribed in surgical settings despite evidence of overuse. Eight overarching concepts were identified: hierarchy; fear drives action; deprioritized; convention trumps evidence; complex judgments; discontinuity of care; team dynamics; and practice environment.
Marsh KM, Fleming MA, Turrentine FE, et al. J Pediatr Surg. 2022;57:616-621.
Patient safety improvement can be hindered by lack of effective measurement tools. This scoping review explored how medical errors are defined and measured in studies of pediatric surgery patients. The authors identified several evidence gaps, including absence of standardized error definitions.
Krenzischek DA, Card E, Mamaril M, et al. J Perianesth Nurs. 2022;Epub Apr 27.
Patients and caregivers are important partners in promoting safe care. Findings from this cross-sectional study reinforce the importance of patients’ perceived roles in ensuring safe surgery and highlight the importance of patient engagement in mitigating surgical site errors.
Al-Ghunaim TA, Johnson J, Biyani CS, et al. Am J Surg. 2022;224:228-238.
Burnout in healthcare providers has been linked to lower patient safety and increased adverse events. This systematic review examined studies focusing on the relationship between burnout and patient safety and professionalism in surgeons. Results indicate higher rates of burnout and emotional exhaustion were associated with an increased risk of involvement in medical error. Interventions to reduce burnout and improve surgeon well-being may result in improved patient safety.
Dorken Gallastegi A, Mikdad S, Kapoen C, et al. J Surg Res. 2022;274:185-195.
While interoperative deaths (IODs) are rare, they are catastrophic events. This study analyzed five years of data on IODs from a large academic medical center. The authors describe three phenotypes: patients with traumatic injury, those undergoing non-trauma-related emergency surgery, and patients who die during an elective procedure from medical cardiac arrests or vascular injuries. This classification framework can serve as a foundation for future research or quality improvement processes.
Sun LY, Jones PM, Wijeysundera DN, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5:e2148161.
Previous research identified a relationship between anesthesia handoffs and rates of major complications and mortality compared to patients who had the same anesthesiologist throughout their procedure. This retrospective cohort study including over 102,000 patients in Ontario, Canada, explored this relationship among patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Analyses revealed that anesthesia handovers were associated with poorer outcomes (i.e., higher 30-day and one-year mortality rates, longer hospitalizations and intensive care unit stays) compared with patients who had the same anesthesiologist throughout their procedure.
Gillespie BM, Harbeck EL, Rattray M, et al. Int J Surg. 2021;95:106136.
Surgical site infections (SSI) are a common, yet largely preventable, complication of surgery which can result in increased length of stay and hospital readmission. In this review of 57 studies, the cumulative incidence of SSI was 11% in adult general surgical patients and was associated with increased length of stay (with variation by types of surgery).
Liu LQ, Mehigan S. AORN J. 2021;114:159-170.
Surgical safety checklists (SSC) have been shown to improve outcomes, but effective implementation remains a challenge. This systematic review evaluated the effectiveness of interventions to increase compliance with the World Health Organization’s SSC for adult surgery. Interventions generally fell into one of four categories: modifying the method of SSC delivery, integrating or tailoring the tool for local context, promoting awareness and engagement, and managing organizational policy. Study findings suggest that all approaches resulted in some improvement in compliance.
Schnock KO, Biggs B, Fladger A, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:e462-e468.
Hospitals have implemented radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology to improve patient safety. This systematic review of 5 studies suggests that use of RFID can lead to rapid, accurate detection of retained surgical instruments (RSIs) and reduced risk of counting errors.
Abraham J, Pfeifer E, Doering M, et al. Anesth Analg. 2021;132:1563-1575.
Intraoperative handoffs between anesthesiologists are frequently necessary but are not without risk. This systematic review of 14 studies of intraoperative handoffs and handoff tools found that use of handoff tools has a positive impact on patient safety. Additional research is needed around design and implementation of tools, particularly the use of electronic health records to record handoffs.  

Preckel B, ed. Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2021;35(1):1-154.

Surgical patients are at high risk for harm, should errors occur. This special issue covers areas of concern in perioperative anesthesia care that include patient allergies, age, sex and gender considerations, and incident reporting system effectiveness.
Mcmullan RD, Urwin R, Gates PJ, et al. Int J Qual Health Care. 2021;33:mzab068.
Distractions in the operating room are common and can lead to errors. This systematic review including 27 studies found that distractions, interruptions, and disruptions in the operating room are associated with a range of negative outcomes. These include longer operative duration, impaired team performance, self-reported errors by colleagues, surgical errors, surgical site infections, and fewer patient safety checks.

Preckel B, ed. Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2021;35(1):1-154.

The field of anesthesiology has realized impressive improvements in safety, yet challenges still exist in its practice. This special issue provides discussions on a variety of concerns that require continued effort, including use of early warning scores, differences associated with sex and gender, and use of incident reporting systems.
Fridrich A, Imhof A, Schwappach DLB. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:217-222.
Checklists are used across clinical areas. Following the publication of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist in 2009, other organizations developed their own checklists or adapted the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist for local settings. The authors analyzed 24 checklists used in 18 Swiss hospitals, identified major differences between study checklists and reference checklists and provided recommendations for future research regarding the effectiveness of surgical safety checklists. 
Gui JL, Nemergut EC, Forkin KT. J Clin Anesth. 2020;68:110110.
Distractions and interruptions are common in health care delivery. This literature review discusses the range of operating room distractions (from common events such as “small talk” to more intense distractions such as unavailable equipment) that can affect anesthesia practice, and their likely impact on patient safety.
Boet S, Djokhdem H, Leir SA, et al. Br J Anaesth. 2020;125:605-613.
Handoffs between providers can introduce patient safety risks. This systematic review explored the impacts of intraoperative anesthesia handovers (e.g., intraoperative relief, transferring care to an incoming provider) on patient safety outcomes. The researchers pooled four studies and found that an intraoperative anesthesia handover significantly increases the risk of an adverse event by 40%.
Dell-Kuster S, Gomes NV, Gawria L, et al. BMJ. 2020;370:m2917.
This cohort study enrolled 18 sites across 12 countries to assess the validity of a newly developed classification system (ClassIntra v1.0) for assessing intraoperative adverse events. Results indicate that the tool has high criterion validity and can be incorporated into routine practice in perioperative surgical safety checklists or used as a monitoring/reporting tool.
Nafiu OO, Mpody C, Kim SS, et al. Pediatrics. 2020;146:e20194113.
The authors analyzed National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Pediatric data from 2012 through 2017 to explore racial differences in postsurgical complications among healthy children. Compared to white children, African American children were three times as likely to die within 30 days after surgery and were more likely to develop postoperative complications and serious adverse events. These results can help guide future research exploring the mechanisms underlying racial differences in postsurgical outcomes in children.
Koch A, Burns J, Catchpole K, et al. BMJ Qual Saf. 2020;29:1033-1045.
This systematic review evaluated the relationships between intraoperative flow disruptions (eg, interruptions, equipment malfunctions, unexpected patient conditions) and provider, surgical process, and patient outcomes. On average, 20.5% of operating time was attributed to flow disruptions and these disruptions were either negatively or not substantially associated with surgical outcomes. The authors observed substantial heterogeneity of the evidence base and provided recommendations for future research on the effects of flow disruptions in surgery.
Storesund A, Haugen AS, Flaatten H, et al. JAMA Surg. 2020;155:562-570.
This study assessed the impact of combined use of two surgical safety checklists on morbidity, mortality, and length of stay – the Surgical Patient Safety System (SURPASS) is used to address preoperative and postoperative care, and the World Health Organization surgical safety checklist (WHO SSC) is used for perioperative care.  In addition to existing use of the WHO SSC, the SURPASS checklist was implemented in three surgical departments in one tertiary hospital in Norway. Results demonstrated that combined use of these checklists was associated with reduced complications reoperations, and readmissions, but combined use did not impact mortality or length of stay.