Hospitals as cultures of entrapment: a re-analysis of the Bristol Royal Infirmary.
Approach to Improving Safety
Setting of Care
Despite an unacceptably high rate of postoperative mortality, surgeons at the Bristol Royal Infirmary continued to perform pediatric cardiac surgery until the United Kingdom Department of Health intervened. A subsequent inquiry revealed that as many as 35 deaths over a 5-year period could have been prevented, and two surgeons lost their licenses. This analysis explores the deficiencies in safety culture that allowed such poor outcomes to go unaddressed. A prior study also discussed the scandal's implications for hospital quality improvement efforts.