Preventing surgical errors involves following a systems approach.
This includes the participation of all team members involved in the patient's journey.
Let’s remember that our patient's expectations are the same as ours; is the staff adequately trained? Do they know how to deal with complications and is the equipment safe?
My Five Steps To Safer Implant Surgery
2. Diagnostic aids
3. Informed consent
4. Surgical team briefing/debriefing
5. Silent Cockpit protocol
Checklists provide a safety net to prevent undesirable events.Two types of checklists are described: safety checklists and task checklists. Task checklists are useful for surgical procedures that involve multiple interdependent stages. Safety checklists aim to reduce undesirable events during a surgical procedure.
Diagnostic aids such as radiographic imaging and restorative guides are invaluable in implant cases allowing the surgeon to perform procedures with confidence and predictability.
Obtaining informed consent from patients is mandatory. Patient trust and confidence is built following appropriate consent.
Surgical team briefing prior to surgery promotes better communication and confirms roles each member of the team is responsible for. I find noting patient details and the surgical plan on the wall in the line of eye sight acts as a timely reminder during stressful periods intra operatively.
I have observed marked improvement in clinical efficiency since commencement. The surgical debrief is equally important and acts as an opportunity for the clinical team to identify issues that occurred during the procedure. This then allows an immediate plan to be implemented to avoid future recurrences.
The silent cockpit protocol involves avoiding non-essential conversations and interruptions from outside the surgery. The pre-frontal cortex cannot manage several ideas at the same time. During surgery if a conversation being overhead distracts the surgeon then he/she will be unable to devote their attention fully to the surgery.
Of course the highlighting of these five steps should in no way deny the importance of sound theoretical knowledge.
There is absolutely no doubt in mind that the implementation of these steps has improved safety for me and my patients. Implementing these steps is therefore a win- win situation.
Dr Ferhan Ahmed