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Checklists and communication trainings: Improving postoperative care

Patients put their lives in the hands of medical professionals. With this in mind, it is important for health care providers to exercise due care in the execution of medical tasks and procedures. For example, to ensure safe and rapid recoveries, medical personnel should practice postoperative care in accordance with current medical standards. This can help reduce the chance of health risks and complications.

In the effort to discover techniques that help make medical procedures safer, scholars explore various methods of practice. For instance, a new study performed by researchers at the University of Connecticut Health Center has found that surgical checklists, combined with communication training, are an efficient way to decrease expensive postoperative complications.

The study determined that of the surgical teams that utilized both communication trainings and surgical checklists, approximately 8 percent of operations resulted in problems within one month of the procedure.

However, 16 percent of surgeries led to complications when surgical teams only had performed communication trainings. When teams did not use either prevention method, more than 23 percent of the operations resulted in complications.


Research has found that communication trainings help facilitate effective interactions among those conducting an operation. The trainings specifically concentrate on differences between different personality types. In such sessions, surgery participants are forced to communicate and introduce themselves before a procedure to ensure accountability.

Additionally, surgical checklists help make certain that everyone is collectively advocating for the patient. With these checklists, nurses might confirm the name of a procedure with the patient and surgical team. Alternatively, the operating staff might create an inventory of tools (for example, needles and sponges) to guarantee that nothing is left behind in the patient. These are just some examples of cooperative advocacy for a patient, which can be guaranteed with lists.

Ultimately, the results of the study may assist in the revision of medical care standards. In the near future, medical services could mandate the use of communications trainings and surgical safety checklists.

When a health care provider fails to provide sufficient treatment or departs from acceptable standards of medical care, a person could be harmed or a life could be lost.

Hopefully, medical facilities will begin to implement the important findings of this recent study. If you believe that you are a victim of poor medical treatment or postoperative care, you should speak to a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney today. A lawyer can help you examine your case.

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