Patient Safety & Orthopaedic Surgery Residents

In 2000, the Institute of Medicine distributed a report suggesting that many hospital errors were related to flaws within the healthcare delivery system. As a result of this report, patient safety initiatives have been initiated in many institutions over the past decade, but adoption of such efforts in the field of surgery has been slow. Many organizations— including the aviation and nuclear power industries, as well as the military and other industries—have addressed the fact that safe systems are essential for creating barriers between human errors and adverse events. Healthcare institutions are being challenged by internal and external forces to become highly reliable and to apply systems-based approaches to address patient safety. A key factor in transforming healthcare so that it’s more focused on patient safety has been the development and maintenance of positive patient safety climates within institutions. Training new members of the healthcare system to adopt and maintain a culture of safety will be a critical component to creating highly reliable organizations. Insight on Patient Safety in Orthopaedics In a study published in the June 1, 2011 Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, my colleagues and I conducted an analysis to identify the baseline safety climate among orthopaedic surgical residents and track its trends in these trainees over time. The study showed that there appeared to be a lack of safety climate that affected at least 10 graduating classes in one large orthopaedic surgery residency program. When compared with naval aviators, residents reported more than twice the rate of problematic responses (12.6% vs 5.6%). The stark differences we observed between surgical training programs and other highly reliable...