Surgical care safety is one of four priority areas of focus for CPSI. The Canadian Adverse Events Study found a 7.5% incidence of adverse events in acute care hospitals. Surgery was identified as the service most responsible for the care 51.4% of the time in these adverse events. Improving safety in surgical care is multi-faceted and spans the period before surgery, during the surgical procedure, and during care following surgery.
Effective communication and teamwork are foundational to improving safety in surgical care. Download the CPSI Canadian Framework for Teamwork and Communication to learn more about communication techniques, tools, and strategies. A tool specific to surgical care that is intended to strengthen communication and teamwork is CPSI's Canadian Surgical Safety Checklist. Surgical teams can use the checklist to ensure that key care information is communicated throughout the patient's surgical journey and to enhance teamwork. Research has emphasized the impact of culture, communication, and teamwork on the effectiveness of the checklist.
Several team training resources to improve patient safety are reviewed in CPSI's Canadian Framework for Communication and Teamwork. Other programs that have gained strength for surgical team training include the Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP) and The Productive Operating Theatre.
Implementing evidence-based guidelines is fundamental to improving safety in surgical care. Ensuring that surgical practices follow these guidelines reduces the likelihood that a surgical patient will experience a patient safety incident. There are three Safer Healthcare Now! Getting Started Kits directly applicable to surgical care. These include guidelines to prevent surgical site infections, reduce the likelihood of venous thromboembolism, and reduce medication incidents with a medication reconciliation process. You can also improve surgical care safety by applying the two Safer Healthcare Now! Infection Prevention and Control Getting Started Kits.