TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION, TRAINING AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS: Edited by Viji KurupDecision-making and safety in anesthesiologyStiegler, Marjorie P.a; Ruskin, Keith J.b Author Information aDepartment of Anesthesiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N2198 UNC Hospitals, North Carolina bDepartment of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA Correspondence to Keith J. Ruskin, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology and Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street TMP3, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Tel: +1 203 785 2802; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: December 2012 - Volume 25 - Issue 6 - p 724-729 doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e328359307a Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Anesthesiologists work in a complex environment that is intolerant of errors. Cognitive errors, or errors in thought processes, are mistakes that a clinician makes despite ‘knowing better’. Several new studies provide a better understanding of how to manage risk while making better decisions. Recent findings Heuristics, or mental shortcuts, allow physicians to make decisions quickly and efficiently but may be responsible for errors in diagnosis and treatment. Using simple ‘decision-making checklists’ can help healthcare providers to make the correct decisions by monitoring their own thought processes. Anesthesiologists can adopt risk assessment tools that were originally developed for use by pilots to determine the hazards associated with a particular clinical management strategy. Summary Effective decision-making and risk management reduce the risk of adverse events in the operating room. This article proposes several new decision-making and risk assessment tools for use in the operating room. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.