Preventing surgical errors is the responsibility of the entire healthcare team and should involve educating the patient – who has the greatest stake in avoiding problems – according to new recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Carefully designing checklists for each step of the operation, eliminating distractions in the operating room (e.g., nonessential phone calls), and ensuring the team's familiarity with new techniques and equipment, are all important ways to reduce surgical errors, ACOG stated in a Committee Opinion.
The opinion, crafted by the college's committee on patient safety and quality improvement, was published in the September issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
According to the Joint Commission, there were 116 wrong-site surgical errors in the U.S. in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available.
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