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Fundamental Concepts in Patient Safety

Juan A. Sanchez, MD
Fundamental Concepts in Patient Safety is a topic covered in the Adult and Pediatric Cardiac.

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STS Cardiothoracic Surgery E-Book from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons provides expert guidance for Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery. Sections include Pearson’s General Thoracic, Esphageal, Adult Cardiac, and Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery. Explore these free sample topics:

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Abstract

The nature of cardiothoracic surgery can pose risks of serious medical errors and harm to patients. The cognitive demands and level of task complexity of this field result in an unforgiving environment where even small, seemingly insignificant lapses and deviations can escalate to catastrophic failures. An understanding of how accidents and human error can jeopardize patients in this environment is essential to becoming a competent and capable leader of a cardiothoracic surgical team. High levels of emotional intelligence, situational awareness, and communication skills are critical for leading safety-focused, clinical teams. Such skills do not always occur naturally, and the cardiothoracic surgeon must mindfully develop, practice, and sustain team-oriented skills to prevent adverse events and to adapt and recover when the unexpected happens. This chapter summarizes foundational concepts in patient safety along with frameworks for understanding how systems, team dynamics, and communication practices contribute to creating safe conditions for the patient. It highlights behaviors and strategies that surgeons must consider in the delivery of effective surgical care.

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Abstract

The nature of cardiothoracic surgery can pose risks of serious medical errors and harm to patients. The cognitive demands and level of task complexity of this field result in an unforgiving environment where even small, seemingly insignificant lapses and deviations can escalate to catastrophic failures. An understanding of how accidents and human error can jeopardize patients in this environment is essential to becoming a competent and capable leader of a cardiothoracic surgical team. High levels of emotional intelligence, situational awareness, and communication skills are critical for leading safety-focused, clinical teams. Such skills do not always occur naturally, and the cardiothoracic surgeon must mindfully develop, practice, and sustain team-oriented skills to prevent adverse events and to adapt and recover when the unexpected happens. This chapter summarizes foundational concepts in patient safety along with frameworks for understanding how systems, team dynamics, and communication practices contribute to creating safe conditions for the patient. It highlights behaviors and strategies that surgeons must consider in the delivery of effective surgical care.

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Last updated: August 24, 2020