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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2012 Apr;83(4):441-4.

Crew resource management: using aviation techniques to improve operating room safety.

Author information

1
Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT, USA. Michael.Ricci@vtmednet.org

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Since the publication of the Institute of Medicine report estimating nearly 100,000 deaths per year from medical errors, hospitals and physicians have a renewed focus upon error reduction. We implemented a surgical crew resource management (CRM) program for all operating room (OR) personnel.

METHODS:

In our academic medical center, 19,000 procedures per year are performed in 27 operating rooms. Mandatory CRM training was implemented for all peri-operative personnel. Aviation techniques introduced included a pre-operative checklist and brief, post-operative debrief, read and initial files, and various other aviation-based techniques. Compliance with conduct of the brief/debrief was monitored as well as wrong-site surgeries and retained foreign body events. The malpractice insurance database for claims was also queried for the period prior to and after training.

RESULTS:

Initial training was accomplished for 517 people, including all anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, technicians, and OR assistants. Pre-operative briefing increased from 6.7 to 99% within 4 mo. Wrong site surgeries and retained foreign bodies decreased from a high of seven in 2007 to none in 2008, but, after 14 mo without additional training, these rose to five in 2009. Malpractice expenses (payouts and legal fees) totaled $793,000 (2003-2007), but have been zero since 2008.

DISCUSSION:

CRM training and implementation had an impact on reducing the incidence of wrong site surgery and retained foreign bodies in our operating rooms. However, constant reinforcement and refresher training is necessary for sustained results. Though no one technique can prevent all errors, CRM can effect culture change, producing a safer environment.

PMID:
22462374
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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