Patient Safety and Surgery: the Experience of the Lombardy Region. A Project on External Evaluation of Best Practices Implementation

Igiene e Sanità Pubblica 2023; 85 (4): 81-93

Luciana Bevilacqua1, Giulia Domeniconi2, Chiara Picchetti1, Davide Mozzanica1, Elisabetta Brivio1, Luca Merlino1, Liviana Scotti1, Romina Colciago1, Enrico Comberti1, Anna D’Andrea1, Paola Garancini1, Maristella Moscheni1, Chiara Oggioni1, Cristina Oppezzo1, Paolo Trucco1, Antonio Vitello1, Simona Amato1, Enrico Burato1

1Working group of Lombardia Region
2 Medical Resident

Meta-analysis studies published over the past 20 years document that approximately 10 -14 % of hospitalised patients have an adverse event in Surgery and at least half of these adverse events are considered preventable using the current standards of care.

In order to improve the safety of surgical patients and increasing adherence to current standard of care in surgery, including communication within the team and teamwork, in 2007 the WHO launched the campaign “Safe Surgery Saves Lives”. The WHO has also built a checklist for safety in the operating room containing 19 item in support of the operating team. The Ministry of Health in 2009 has taken the instruments produced by WHO in the “Guide to Safety in the operating room: Recommendations and Checklist”.
Studies conducted in industrialized countries report a strong heterogeneity in compliance to the check list for the surgical safety, with a range of between 38% and 96%.
The aim of this project was to adopt the methodology of the external “peer review” to improve quality and patient safety applied to the surgical process and assess the degree of implementation of good practice in the operating room, both in public and private structures.
Between 2015 and 2018 we have carried out 16 external evaluation visits. These visits included a first plenary session followed by the inspection of the operating theaters identified and a second plenary session. Several factors emerged during the visits; these factors represent both the strengths and criticalities of the organizations.
The creation of a team of experts, coordinated by the Lombardy Region with the role of leadership, using the “peer review” methodology, is the leverage to promote among operators the growth of awareness of the usefulness of the tools.

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