Process failures in caring for patients after elective surgery are common and were found to cause harm about fifty percent of the time, according to a study in the Annals of Surgery.
For the study, the post-operative care of fifty patients who had major elective surgery was monitored by two surgeons. Key findings include:
- A total of 256 process failures were identified, of which 85% were preventable and 51% directly led to patient harm.
- The most frequent process failures were medication prescribing and administration, management of lines, tubes, and drains, and pain control interventions.
- Communication problems and delays were the main cause of these failures.
The authors conclude that interventions are needed in order to prevent failures in process.