How to Prevent Surgical Errors

The recent publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgery’s study on surgical errors demonstrates that major surgical errors continue to occur. The study notes that the majority of these errors are a result of poor communication among medical staff. However, the disturbing part of the article concerned what was not said-how to prevent such errors.

It’s a good first step to acknowledge that surgical errors occur. However, we can’t leave it at that. Something must be done to find solutions to these errors so that they can be prevented in the future.

The Huffington Post noted, “The researchers called for better tracking of never events, so that doctors can develop better tools and techniques to avoid them in the future.

Doctors also may need to test different methods, such as tracking so-called near misses, which are potential events that were averted before patients were harmed.”

This must be a priority for the health industry. Knowledge that something is wrong is not the same as seeking solutions to problems and implementing corrective measures. It’s time to find and take those corrective measures.