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A culture of safety can reduce the number of surgical errors

When a Houston resident needs to go in for surgery it can be a scary situation. Surgery is something that most people don't want to have to go through but often it is medically necessary. Most surgeries go as planned but a surgical error can affect a person forever.

Surgical errors occur often in the United States. Sometimes they are not serious but often they can be life-threatening. A study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons has concluded that hospitals that focus on patient safety and have a safety culture can be reduce the frequency of surgical errors. Many times hospitals focus on a surgeon's skill level and operating room equipment instead of safety.

A safety culture can be defined as the one in which the staff is willing to speak up when there is a concern and where the facility is organized to provide safe care. The attitude should be one of "that's how things are done around here." Safety culture factors include teamwork, management support, non-punitive responses to error, communication openness and supervisor safety expectations, among others. The culture is what is important in reducing surgical errors.

If a patient believes they have been injured because of a surgical error, they may want to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer. A patient needs answers as to what happened and if possible they should be able to hold their surgeon and potentially the hospital accountable for the mistake. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Source: medicalxpress.com, "Hospital safety culture critical in improving surgical results", Dec. 9, 2015

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