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Allison Chen, Annika Havnaer, Paul B Greenberg; Training on the Prevention of Surgical Errors in Ophthalmology: the Resident Perspective. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):5577.
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Surgical errors involving the wrong patient, wrong site (e.g. wrong eye) or wrong procedure (e.g. wrong intraocular lens implant) can have devastating consequences and are largely preventable by adherence to specific protocols. Little is known about the resident perspective on current training in the prevention of surgical errors. This information would help train residents on how to provide eye care safely and effectively.
A survey comprised of multiple choice and Likert-style questions was printed, packed, and mailed to residents’ care of their ophthalmology department addresses. The residents were given the option to respond on paper using the pre-stamped return envelope or online through a link provided to an identical online survey created through DatStat Illume 5.1. Two follow-up reminder letters were mailed in two-week intervals to those who had not responded. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the survey results.
The survey was mailed to the 1049 US ophthalmology residents; 365 completed the survey, yielding a response rate of 34.7%. The majority of the respondents (88.5%; 323/365) indicated that their programs provided specific training in the prevention surgical errors. Most commonly, this training consisted of observing attending physicians (90%; 293/324) and adhering to OR policies or protocols (91%; 295/324). Most respondents (73%; 237/323) indicated that their training in the prevention of surgical errors was not formally assessed. A majority of respondents (66%; 205/309) reported that the most effective training was “Hands on experience with guidance from attending physician.” Most respondents (78.9%; 276/363) agreed that their respective programs provided adequate training on the prevention of surgical errors and 84% (305/363) agreed that the public expected them to receive this training.
This survey provides an educational blueprint for ophthalmic GME in preventable surgical errors that is responsive to resident preferences. It suggests that ophthalmology residents believed that hands-on experience with guidance from attending physicians was the most effective training to minimize surgical errors. This survey provides insight on how to improve the educational experience for residents with the goal of lowering the risk of preventable surgical errors in the future.
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