VA study shows communication is main reason for surgical errors

The Veterans Administration (VA) recently released an in-house study concluding that poor communication is the principal reason for surgical errors, according to HealthDay's official Web site.

According to the article, the most common cause of errors was poor communication among the surgical team members, accounting for 21 percent of the problems. These communication problems often happen early in surgical procedures, and interventions such as a final "time-out" moment before making the first incision may be too late to correct them, the researchers noted.

Of the adverse events, 50.9 percent occurred in the operating room and 49.1 percent occurred elsewhere. The most adverse event reports were in ophthalmology and invasive radiology (21.2 percent). Orthopedics accounted for the second highest rate of problems in the operating room, after ophthalmology.

(SOURCES: HCPro Accreditation Connection,, November 30, 2009)