Improving disclosure and management of medical error - an opportunity to transform the surgeons of tomorrow.
Surgeon. 2013 Dec;11(6):338-43
Authors: Tevlin R, Doherty E, Traynor O
INTRODUCTION: Human error is the major causal factor of industrial and transportation accidents and healthcare is not immune to the effects of human error. Medical error can be defined as the failure of the planned action to be completed as intended or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim.
AIM: The objective of this literature review was to explore the practices of medical error management and disclosure by surgical trainees and to examine how to better prepare and educate the surgeons of tomorrow.
METHODS: PubMed was searched to identify available literature. Preliminary search criteria included medical error and junior doctors, management and prevention of medical error.
RESULTS: Fifty-two papers were included for review. Medical error is common and junior doctors are more vulnerable to err. Most serious errors occur in the emergency department, operating rooms and the intensive care unit. Improvements in patient safety result primarily from organizational and individual learning, particularly with reference to trainee doctors who present an enhanced level of risk.
CONCLUSION: Junior doctors are a unique population, with a higher propensity to medical error. A transition from the current culture of 'name, blame and shame' is required. We need to ensure that the 'learning moment' is seized and that mistakes are learned from and not simply forgotten. Surgery has an opportunity to learn from high risk-industries and incorporate human factors training, into surgical training programs in order to better manage and prevent medical error.
PMID: 24041832 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]