The Joint Commission recently released a report that provided data about the root causes of surgical errors. The commission analyzed ten years’ of medical data, and identified the most common causes of surgical errors in four key areas.
- Operative or postoperative complication
- Unintended retention of surgical object
- Wrong-patient and wrong-procedure sentinel events
Root Causes of Surgical Errors
The commission’s report noted that for many of the cases, more than one root cause contributed to the incident. Across the board, there were four common root causes that stood out from among the rest.
- Human Factors: Human factors are a major cause of surgical errors. Types of causes that fit into this category include: staffing issues, education, competency, medical staff credentialing, rushing, fatigue, and distraction.
- Leadership: Leadership issues were another major cause of surgical errors. Subcategories include issues in the following areas: organizational planning, the hospital culture, priority settings, complaint resolution, lack of standardization, inadequate policies and procedures, non-compliance with protocols and practices, performance, and nursing leadership.
- Communication: Poor or lack of communication includes communication between the patient/family and the doctor, as well as communication amongst the staff.
- Assessment: Assessment mistakes also contribute to surgical errors. Misreading medical tests, poor testing practices, inadequate tests, ordering tests too late, mistakes in the lab, and lack of patient observation all fit into this category.
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If you or a loved one was injured by a surgical error, you might be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim to recover your damages. If you reside in or near Peachtree City, call the Law Offices of Jason R. Schultz for a free consultation about your injuries. Contact our office today at 404-474-0804 for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.