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Safety plays a critical role in improving surgical outcomes

Surgical teams in Ohio need outside support to make improvements in surgical safety. That was the conclusion of a research assistant commenting on patient safety research published by a team from Oxford University. She said that health care staff members do not have time to develop comprehensive improvements to surgical procedures and patient care. They need the insights of experts based on qualitative research.

Although she acknowledged the substantial knowledge of caregivers on the front lines, she emphasized that they should not be expected to assess risks and design improvements by themselves. Their daily duties do not grant them the luxury of prolonged investigations.

The study found that human ergonomics, effective communication and system design greatly supplement the work of clinical staff. The researchers studied surgical outcomes when two approaches to safety were combined. Previously, safety experts had focused on improving surgical team communication and culture or on designing better work systems that limited mistakes. When both approaches were combined, however, the four-year study showed a culture-plus-system approach produced better results than either approach used by itself. The researchers concluded that surgical teams would benefit from both teamwork training and fine tuning of their work systems.

Numerous risks come into play during surgical procedures, including anesthesia errors or wrong-site surgeries. A person who suffered from a medical error during surgery might wish to know if medical malpractice took place. A medical malpractice attorney might possibly help a person determine if the evidence reveals actual hospital negligence. Malpractice claims generally have specific criteria to meet before someone can make a claim for compensation. An attorney could possibly seek outside medical opinions and prepare the documentation to file a lawsuit.

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