How non-technical skills reduce chance of surgical errors

Experts say that 45 percent of adverse medical events involve surgical patients. Of those events, 35 to 66 take place in the operating room. Kentucky residents should know that complications during surgery do necessarily develop because of any lack of technical skills on the part of the doctor. Rather, they can develop because surgeons fail to react to a situation in an appropriate way.

When things go wrong, surgeons need not only ability and ambition but also adaptability and humility. Part of this means admitting when they did something wrong. Another part is working calmly when under pressure.

Cognitive and interpersonal skills are also important, according to the guest of honor at the 2019 Cataract Surgery: Telling It Like It Is meeting. These skills help surgeons evaluate what is happening around them, see what their options are for moving forward and make the right decision.

VRmagic, a provider of virtual reality simulators, has developed a system called Eyesi Surgical that allows surgeons to perform simulated procedures and acquire the necessary non-technical skills for success. The system offers both dry and wet lab options.

A surgeon can become negligent in many ways. If an error occurs as a result, the victim may be injured and face even more medical bills. Since these could have been prevented, the victim might be able to file a malpractice claim and obtain compensation. However, it must be shown that the doctor did not meet an objective standard of care. When filing the claim, it may be good to consider hiring legal representation. A personal injury lawyer could request an inquiry with the local medical board and hire third parties to conduct their own investigation before heading to negotiations.

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O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC

O'Brien Batten & Kirtley, PLLC
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