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Memorial Hospital Selected for Human Factors Training – 1/18/06

Kimberly-Clark Health Care and the AORN Foundation not only understand the adverse consequences of communication failures in medicine, they are banking $250,000 in grants for special training to mitigate Operating Room (OR) errors nationwide. Memorial Hospital’s surgical team is one of five surgical groups across the country selected as a demonstration site for Human Factors training—a concept first introduced in the aviation industry, in which human error and communication breakdowns can result in deadly disasters. Memorial has received a $50,000 grant applied to this training.

The Human Factors training is tailored for health care professionals who work closely together in high-risk, high-stress environments, where adverse outcomes can significantly contribute to morbidity and mortality. In the surgery room, a critical communication component lending to patient safety is the pre-operative briefing. Similar to mandatory briefings airline pilots conduct before every flight, pre-operative preparations include a detailed checklist/exchange of critical information necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for patients.

“Participants in the Human Factors training learn the importance of a ‘flattening hierarchy’ among surgical teams—meaning that any team participant, at any time, may voice their concerns in the operating room regardless of rank or seniority,” says Memorial Perioperative Care Manager Jill Garrett. “Learning team members’ names and speaking a common language are also important communication components in the OR. Finally, debriefings are conducted at the end of each case to revisit the procedure and recommend areas for improvements.”

Other hospitals selected for Human Factors training include Jackson Memorial Health Systems, Miami, FL; Mayo Clinic Hospital, Phoenix, AZ; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; and Tawas St. Josephs Hospital, Tawas City, MI.

Media inquiries please contact Memorial Hospital public relations at 365-5235.