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Pinpointing the reasons behind delays in surgical start times

| May 5, 2016 | Surgical Errors

When medical issues arise, the speed at which treatment is delivered may be the difference between life and death. For many of those patients in Queens that we here at Futterman, Sirotkin & Seinfeld LLP have worked with, the surgical errors that they suffered came as the result of a delay in receiving treatment. If you are in a distressed state that requires emergency surgery, you likely assume that those involved in your care are “on the ball” in preparing for your procedure. If they are not, and you suffer because of it, then you may deservedly want to know why.

Delays in operating start times are a problem that has plagued hospitals for years. However, when hospitals evaluate this issue, they typically approach it from the perspective of saving money from time wasted in added preparation. Your questioning their preparedness in your case turns it into a safety issue. While some providers and administrators may argue that delays in operating start times are inevitable, research has shown that a majority of them are due to easily preventable oversights.

Study results shared by the U.S. National Library of Medicine show the four most common reasons behind delays in surgical start times to be:

  •          Lack of planning
  •          Breakdowns in teamwork
  •          Poor communication
  •          Limited availability of qualified support staff

Health care professionals may point out that it is impossible to correctly anticipate an emergency. However, they can prepare to ensure that the human element of emergency care is well-accounted for prior to your presenting with a problem. Communication and coordination skills can be developed to help handle any situation, as can contingencies to ensure that adequate staff and resources are available at all times.

More information on the factors that contribute to surgical errors can be found by further exploring our site. 

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