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Pre-Op Briefing May Cut Down on Surgery Disruptions

Last Updated: June 04, 2009.

A preprocedural briefing -- found commonly in other high-consequence scenarios -- may decrease surgical flow disruptions during cardiac surgery cases, according to research published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

THURSDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- A preprocedural briefing -- found commonly in other high-consequence scenarios -- may decrease surgical flow disruptions during cardiac surgery cases, according to research published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Sarah E. Henrickson, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues analyzed data from a preprocedural briefing that was developed with the help of a variety of surgical team members. Outcomes compared in cardiac surgery cases before and after the briefing was implemented included surgical flow disruptions.

After the briefing was implemented, the researchers note that total surgical flow disruptions fell from 5.4 to 2.8 per case. Procedural knowledge disruptions fell from 4.1 to 2.17 per case, and miscommunication events fell from 2.5 to 1.17 per case. Members of briefed teams also needed to make fewer trips to the central supply area (4.7 versus 10).

"Surgical flow disruptions were chosen as an outcomes measure in light of our previous study, which indicated that such disruptions have a strong association with error in cardiovascular surgery. Although these disruptions may appear to be minor events, studies have shown that the occurrence of such latent events can impede a surgical team's ability to compensate for a major event," the authors write.

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