May 1, 2007

Surgeon leads effort for safer surgery

By: Pat Patterson

If you look behind some of the major studies on patient safety in surgery, you'll find a common name—Atul Gawande, MD, MPH. He led the well-known 2003 study documenting the incidence of retained items in surgery. He's just finished a clinical study of a bar code technology to aid sponge counts. He participated in a human factors study that yielded, among other things, the controversial finding that surgical counts competed with other patient care tasks for nurses' attention and disrupted other activities.

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