Improving patient safety in the operating theatre and perioperative care: Obstacles, interventions, and priorities for accelerating progress

N. Sevdalis, L. Hull, D. J. Birnbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


SummaryThe publication of To Err Is Human in the USA and An Organisation with a Memory in the UK more than a decade ago put patient safety firmly on the clinical and policy agenda. To date, however, progress in improving safety and outcomes of hospitalized patients has been slower than the authors of these reports had envisaged. Here, we first review and analyse some of the reasons for the lack of evident progress in improving patient safety across healthcare specialities. We then focus on what we believe is a critical part of the healthcare system that can contribute to safety but also to error-healthcare teams. Finally, we review team training interventions and tools available for the assessment and improvement of team performance and we offer recommendations based on the existing evidence-base that have potential to improve patient safety and outcomes in the coming decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i3-i16
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue numberSUPPL1
StatePublished - Dec 2012



  • communication
  • education
  • healthcare quality
  • healthcare team
  • leadership
  • patient safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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