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Safest OR Ever! Getting There…Inaugural Safety in Spine Surgery

By Admin | April 29, 2021

Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed.

After April 2021 there will be no more patients injured during the course of spine surgery. We wish that were true.

With approximately 60,000 patients harmed during spine surgery each year,1-5 however, it will take more time to reverse this problem. Awareness is the key that opens the door of change, however, and one group is supremely dedicated to reversing the tide: the Project for Safety in Spine Surgery (S3P).

Founded to great acclaim in 2016, i.e., standing room only attendance, S3P has a goal of cutting the estimated 60,000 harmful incidents in half by 2023. Its latest effort to focus attention on the issue is the launch of its inaugural Safety in Spine Surgery month—April 2021.

Shepherding this noble effort is Program Chair and S3P Founder Michael G. Vitale, M.D., M.P.H. He and his co chairs are tasked with ensuring that the event’s two live webinars—April 15 and April 29, 2021—hit their marks. Dr. Vitale told OSN: “The S3P meeting has been sold out each year for a reason: people know that we can make a substantial dent in safety issues surrounding spine surgery.”

The April 15 event will highlight “Predictive Analytics, Enabling Technology and Innovative Techniques That Make Your Spine OR Safer,” while the April 29 event will cover “Checklists, Guidelines, and Tricks to Avoid Complications and Improve Neurological Safety.”

Unique in their development and content, the two webinars were built around a competition—Best New Methodologies and Techniques to Enhance Safety in Spine Surgery for 2021. After reviewing over 100 submissions, the judges selected the top ten, five of which will be presented at each webinar.

Have your checklist? Check!

Dr. Vitale: “A strong component of the S3P mission is improving quality and reliability. Such rigor is made more likely when we use checklists to assure that we are adhering to best practice guidelines. Although there is ample evidence showing that such lists save lives, not all checklists are created equal. You must drill down into what makes a list impactful, something that we will address during one of these webinars.”

Engagement is key.

“When Ontario mandated that all of its healthcare systems had to use checklists it turned out that they were less effective than everyone anticipated6, said Dr. Vitale. “The problem was that they lacked buy-in because in creating the lists they had not engaged the frontline employees in the development of the lists. If the checklists had been formulated from the voices of techs, nurses, administrators and more, then they would have been vastly more successful.”

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For more info please read, Safest OR Ever! Getting There…Inaugural Safety in Spine Surgery, by OrthoSpineNews

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