Improving Surgical Safety: Developing a Safety Culture and Checklist Usage

James A. Slough, MD

Despite multiple nationwide and global patient safety initiatives (Table 1), surgical and patient safety errors are still common and adverse event rates for surgical conditions remain unacceptably high. Some studies have shown that about one-half of hospital adverse events are associated with surgical procedures conducted in the operating room (OR). Errors involving the wrong site/side/level/implant/procedure/patient still occur, although they are primarily system errors rather than surgeon errors.

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