Researchers Assess Equipment-Related Surgical Error, Recommend Checklist Approach

August 28, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Health System


An average of 15.5 errors occur during any given surgical procedure, and 23.5% of the total errors are equipment- or technology-related, according to the results of a study published online July 25, 2013, in BMJ Quality and Safety. In an attempt to determine the proportion and characteristics of equipment-related error in the operating room, the study’s researchers performed a systemic review of the available literature that resulted in the inclusion of 28 studies. An analysis of the equipment errors revealed that 37.3% were associated with equipment availability, 43.4% were associated with configuration and settings, and 33.5% were associated with a direct malfunction.

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