Potential deterioration of older surgeons' technical performance is a patient safety concern. This guidance developed from a Society of Surgical Chairs panel discussion puts forth several steps to manage the transition of aging surgeons. Recommendations include mandatory cognitive and psychomotor testing for surgeons age 65 and older, respectful consideration of the financial and emotional concerns of aging surgeons, and lifelong mentoring around the transition from clinical to nonclinical roles. The authors anticipate that such initiatives will prompt thoughtful support for aging surgeons that ensures patient safety. In an accompanying editorial, an older physician supports mandatory testing and suggests individual-level steps to address aging as a surgeon, including healthy lifestyle and financial habits.
Suicide among hospitalized patients remains an under-recognized never event, as it has ranked among the most common sentinel events reported to The Joint Commission over the past decade. While specialized psychiatric units are designed and staffed to minimize suicide risk, emergency departments and general medical wards are not, and prior research has shown that a significant proportion of inpatient suicide attempts occur in these settings. This Sentinel Event Alert reviews risk factors for inpatient suicide and delineates prevention strategies hospitals can use to minimize risk. A case of an inpatient suicide attempt on a general medical ward is discussed in this AHRQ WebM&M commentary. Note: This alert has been retired effective February 2016. Please refer to the information link below for further details.
This alert provides recommendations for minimizing the risk of anesthesia awareness. Note: This alert has been retired effective June 2016. Please refer to the information link below for further details.
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