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Cases & Commentaries
- Web M&M
Richard A. Smith, DDS; July-August 2007
A patient underwent tooth extraction, but awoke from anesthesia and found that the wrong two teeth had been removed.
Journal Article > Study
Kwaan MR, Studdert DM, Zinner MJ, Gawande AA. Arch Surg. 2006;141:353-358.
This AHRQ-supported study analyzed information from nearly 3 million operations between 1985 and 2004, discovering a rate of 1 in 112,994 cases of wrong-site surgery. Investigators further evaluated cases with available medical records, all of which were among the malpractice claims. In doing so, they noted that the Joint Commission's Universal Protocol might have prevented only 62% of the cases reviewed. At the rates reported, the authors suggest that the average large hospital may be involved in such an event every 5 to 10 years, a rate 10 times less frequent than retained foreign bodies. They also point out that while wrong-site surgery is a devastating and unacceptable outcome, current efforts to implement protocols may not prevent every event and may, in turn, create inefficiency in related processes. The authors offer a series of recommendations for a model site-verification protocol. The American College of Surgeons offers a fact sheet on correct-site surgery geared toward patient education.
PA-PSRS Patient Saf Advis. June 2006;3:1-5.
This article shares several examples of errors made while verbally communicating medication orders and includes recommendations for safe practices. A set of tools for educating hospital personnel about this issue is available via the link below.
Lee JS, Curley AW, Smith RA. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007;65:1793-1799.
This article discusses strategies to prevent wrong-site tooth extraction including education, improving referral forms, and standardizing preoperative procedures. A prior AHRQ WebM&M commentary also discussed this topic.
O'Reilly KB. American Medical News. June 14, 2010.
This news piece discusses how the health care industry can apply aviation safety methodologies to guide improvement.