Surgical care is not as reliable as it should be. Worldwide, about 10% of patients are inadvertently harmed while receiving treatment in the healthcare system. In recent years, observational studies have documented the large burden of inadvertent harm and mortality from the effects of modern healthcare.
Research into the causes of this serious problem has focused largely on failures in communication and teamwork between healthcare staff, and on faults in the system of work which make it inherently unsafe.
We are taking part in on-going work to develop the tools needed for this relatively new field of reserach. This includes taxonomies, definitions and, importantly, new measures and scales. Our emphasis is on studies of interventions which may improve quality, reliability and safety. We have taken a strategic decision to study and adapt methods from high reliability organisations in other spheres of work as one of our main methods for developing these.
For more information on the group, and ongoing research projects, please see: Quality, Reliability, Safety and Teamwork Unit.