Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Focused Factories - November 2015 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://magazine.outpatientsurgery.net/i/596718

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1 2 O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 Desensitized to Death Could the death of Joan Rivers be a wake-up call for surgical facilities? O ur final speaker's final few PowerPoint slides at last month's OR Excellence Conference in San Antonio began and ended with a damning question: What killed Joan Rivers? We did. Our industry did. It was completely unnecessary. It was preventable. And can you believe we'll do it to another 439,999 people this year? With that, you could hear a pin drop in the main ballroom at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter as anesthesiol- ogist and patient safety advocate Kenneth Rothfield, MD, MBA, CPE, closed out ORX VII with a sensational talk, "Lessons Learned from the Death of Joan Rivers: Ensuring Patient Safety in Outpatient Surgery." After an uneasy moment of silence, the audience broke into well-deserved applause. It's hard to clap when you've just been indict- ed. More than 400,000 U.S. citizens die from preventable medical errors each year. Imagine if we heard about 2 747 crashes every single day. That's what we're dealing with — well more than 1,000 preventable deaths a day. Yet we virtually never hear about it, until someone like Joan Rivers dies. We should be hearing about it. We should hear about every preventable medical error immediately after it happens. Right now we don't, for a number of reasons. First, there's the way we talk about it. A surgeon clips the aorta or an anesthesiologist acci- dentally doubles a medication dose, or an unmonitored patient goes into respiratory failure in the PACU, and we call it a "complication." E D I T O R ' S P A G E Dan O'Connor

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