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Cases & Commentaries
- Web M&M
Arpana Vidyarthi, MD; March 2004
Due to a series of incomplete signouts, information about a patient's post-operative leg pain and chest discomfort is not conveyed to the primary team. A PE is discovered post-mortem.
Journal Article > Commentary
Smetzer JL, Cohen MR. Hosp Pharm. 2008;43:869-872.
This monthly selection of error reports includes examples of confusion regarding medication delivery instructions and sound-alike mistakes involving epinephrine and ephedrine.
Journal Article > Review
Nagpal K, Vats A, Lamb B, et al. Ann Surg. 2010;252:225-239.
This systematic review of 38 published studies identified communication failures in all phases of surgical care, including intraoperatively and during postoperative care. Such breakdowns in information transfer, particularly during handoffs, have been linked to adverse events in prior studies. A number of interventions have been proposed to address this issue, including standardized checklists—which were remarkably successful at reducing postoperative complications in a classic study—and incorporation of handoff techniques from other industries. An AHRQ WebM&M commentary discusses the disastrous consequences of an intraoperative communication breakdown.