No two patients in Queens are exactly alike. As such, it may be virtually impossible for local healthcare providers to be completely prepared to handle every patient case they are asked to deal with. Yet even though every patient may be different, enough similarities exist between cases within the same medical disciplines that standards of care can be developed.
Perhaps no area of medicine sees more variation between cases than surgery. However, even in an operating room setting, there are still standards that surgical teams are expected to follow in order to deliver the best perioperative care possible. Perioperative care refers to medical aid rendered immediately before, after, and during surgery. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the specific standards for perioperative care include:
- Adherence to the set surgical schedule and correctly documented procedure start and stop times.
- Correct identification of the patient, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other surgical support staff involved in a particular case.
- The presence of the right surgical instruments, supplies, medical gases, and instrument case carts associated with the procedure being performed.
- Sufficient access to surgical pathology and clinical imaging resources to support the procedure.
- A properly prepared, cleaned, and configured OR suite
- Access to patient data via an electronic medical record.
On top of all that, perioperative care should also include observance of the “five rights” of correct medication management. These include identifying the right drug, the right dose, the right route, the right time, and the right patient.
If a review of your medical record following a surgical error shows any of the aforementioned elements of care to be missing, you might have the evidence to suggest that the proper standard of care was not followed in your case.