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Mayo Study Finds That Team Preop Briefing Improves Communication, Reduces Errors
Date:5/26/2009

n and the anesthesiologist not hearing the request. There were significantly fewer delays, with fewer interruptions to clarify procedures. And, nurses made fewer trips outside the operating room to retrieve supplies.
  • Waste of medical supplies was reduced because the team better anticipated specific needs for each surgery.

  • Dr. Sundt says his team has embraced the briefings and continues to conduct them prior to the first procedure of the day. Other surgical teams have since requested implementation of the briefings.

    "It's time well spent that tunes us in to the specific patient's needs," says Dr. Sundt. In addition to specific concerns about the surgery, the briefings include information about the patient's prior procedures, other diagnoses, risks and emotional concerns, such as the patient's biggest worry regarding surgery.

    "It sets the tone for the day. Now, I'm uncomfortable when we don't do it," says Dr. Sundt, who was initially skeptical about the benefits of the briefings.

    There are barriers to conducting briefings for every procedure. "The structure of the operating room is not conducive to this," says Dr. Sundt. With multiple surgical suites, surgery times overlap, creating difficulty in assembling the team prior to each procedure. During long, complex surgeries, shift and staff changes occur.

    Additional study and pilots are needed to determine ways to incorporate the briefings more broadly, researchers say.

    About Mayo Clinic

    Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy that "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers and 46,000 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which
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    SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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