Potentially preventable adverse events remain a formidable cause of patient harm and health care expenditure despite advances in systems-based risk-reduction strategies. This quality improvement study from Suliburk et al., published in JAMA Network Open, analysed the incidence of human performance deficiencies during the provision of surgical care to identify opportunities to enhance patient safety.
From the 5365 operations, 188 adverse events were recorded. Of these, 106 adverse events (56.4%) were due to human error, of which cognitive error accounted for 99 of 192 human performance deficiencies (51.6%). These data provide a framework and impetus for new quality improvement initiatives incorporating cognitive training to mitigate human error in surgery.