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The Role of Checklists and Human Factors for Improved Patient Safety in Plastic Surgery

Oppikofer, Claude, M.D., B.Law; Schwappach, David, Prof. Dr., M.P.H.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: December 2017 - Volume 140 - Issue 6 - p 812e-817e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003892
Patient Safety CME

Learning Objectives: After studying the article, participants should be able to: 1. Describe the role of human factors and nontechnical skills for patient safety and recognize the need for customization of surgical checklists. 2. Apply encouragement to speaking up and understand the importance of patient involvement for patient safety. 3. Recognize the potential for improvement regarding patient safety in their own environment and take a leading role in the patient safety process. 4. Assess their own safety status and develop measures to avoid unnecessary distraction in the operating room.

Summary: Over the past 20 years, there has been increased attention to improving all aspects of patient safety and, in particular, the important role of checklists and human factors. This article gives a condensed overview of selected aspects of patient safety and aims to raise the awareness of the reader and encourage further study of referenced literature, with the goal of increased knowledge and use of proven safety methods. The CME questions should help indicate where there is still potential for improvement in patient safety, namely, in the field of nontechnical skills.

Montreux, Zürich, and Bern, Switzerland

From Chirurgie Plastique Riviera; the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation; and the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern.

Received for publication February 18, 2017; accepted June 19, 2017.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

Claude Oppikofer, M.D., B.Law, Chirurgie Plastique Riviera, Grand Rue 3, Montreux 1820, Switzerland,

Copyright © 2017 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons