Surgical Patient Safety: We Still Can’t Get It Right

How to Make Surgery Safer“, an article by Laura Landro published in the February 17th issue of The Wall Street Journal,  focuses on preventable surgical and hospital errors that increase surgical risks and cause poor patient outcomes including death, permanent injury, and temporary injury.  The article also  focuses on efforts to decrease the risks of these disturbing occurrences.

OR instrumentsAlthough informative, the article failed to bring anything new to the hospital-error table with respect to efforts to improve patient safety; these methods are tried and true, and yet life-changing, and in some cases life-ending errors still occur.

Who was the intended audience of this article? For non-healthcare providers the statistics on preventable errors are shocking; regrettably, many physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators become acclimated to such dire events and are now rarely outraged by these statistics, but as a paragraph in the article states,

“Now the movement to make things safer is taking on new urgency, as advocates inside and outside of the surgical community push for a range of changes, and the cost of mishaps mounts.”

Unfortunately, the dollar seems to  determine the effort and intensity exerted toward making hospital safer places for patients. shutterstock_145263814

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