Handbook Teaches Surgeons Important Non-Technical Skills

Many patients who undergo surgery in Connecticut are injured as a result of adverse events that could have been prevented. In fact, research indicates that adverse events affect around 12 percent of hospital patients. Some examples of adverse events that could negatively impact patient outcomes include medication errors, wrong site surgeries, preventable infections and objects being left in patients after surgery.

Concern over the high number of surgical errors in U.S. and British hospitals has led researchers to develop a new handbook for surgeons called ‘Enhancing Surgical Performance: A Primer in Non-Technical Skills.” The handbook was developed by researchers from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland to help surgeons and other operating room staff improve their communication, decision-making and leadership skills.

The safety handbook was written after 12 years of research and development into the non-technical skills that the authors say are vital for improving surgical performance. Researchers say that the operating room is an area of the hospital where medical staff’s non-technical skills are of particular importance. When surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses lack situation awareness or decision-making skills, patients can be more at risk for experiencing serious injuries from medical mistakes.

In many cases, a patient who is injured during surgery will not find out what happened to them right away. If hospital staff members attempt to hide their mistakes, a thorough investigation may be required to reveal the details of an adverse event. An attorney may be able to help an injured patient to find out what led to their hospital injury and file a medical professional negligence lawsuit seeking financial compensation for the losses that have been sustained.

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