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Journal Article > Commentary
Hicks CW, Rosen M, Hobson DB, Ko C, Wick EC. JAMA Surg. 2014;149:863-868.
Operating room briefings or time-outs are mandated by The Joint Commission as a strategy to prevent wrong-site surgery. This commentary explores the use of briefings both before and after surgery, evidence regarding their impact, and how a comprehensive unit-based safety program (CUSP) initiative designed and implemented a briefing and debriefing process.
Journal Article > Study
Johnston M, Arora S, King D, Stroman L, Darzi A. Surgery. 2014;155:989-994.
This interview study examined escalation of care, the process by which a patient's deteriorating clinical status is recognized and acted upon, among surgical patients. Attending surgeons, trainees, intensivists, and rapid response team members believe that protocols for escalation of care lack clarity and that there is a dearth of supervision from senior clinicians. Similar to studies of handoffs, direct conversation—either in person or via mobile phone—was deemed preferable to hospital paging systems. Participants identified communication training, explicit and clear protocols, and increased supervision as key to improving the care of deteriorating surgical patients. Accompanying editorials highlight the importance of communication and the need for a safety culture that supports multidisciplinary teams.
Journal Article > Study
Kaplan LJ, Maerz LL, Schuster K, et al. J Trauma. 2009;67:173-179.
Since adoption of the 2003 ACGME duty hour restrictions, targeted curricular and information technology initiatives have emerged to address safe handoffs in care. This study analyzed surgical rapid response team (RRT) calls to determine if greater discontinuity in care was a potentially contributing factor. Investigators found that impending respiratory failure and acute volume overload were the most common conditions prompting RRT activation. However, the more noteworthy findings were that RRT activations most frequently occurred during times of cross-coverage, resulted from team-based errors of omission, and were frequently preventable or potentially preventable events. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed a case of a failed signout process that contributed to a delay in treatment and diagnosis.