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The morbidity and mortality conference in pediatric intensive care as a means for improving patient safety


Frey, Bernhard; Doell, Carsten; Klauwer, Dietrich; Cannizzaro, Vincenzo; Bernet, Vera; Maguire, Christine; Brotschi, Barbara (2016). The morbidity and mortality conference in pediatric intensive care as a means for improving patient safety. Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 17(1):67-72.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To present our experience in an interdisciplinary and interprofessional morbidity and mortality conference, with special emphasis on its usefulness in improving patient safety.
DESIGN: Retrospective analysis.
SETTING: Tertiary interdisciplinary neonatal PICU.
PATIENTS: Morbidity and mortality conference minutes on 48 patients (newborns to 17 yr), January 2009 to June 2014.
INTERVENTIONS: None.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The authors' PICU implemented a morbidity and mortality conference guideline in 2009 using a system-based approach to identify medical errors, their contributing factors, and possible solutions. In the subsequent 5.5 years, there were 44 mortality conferences (of 181 deaths [27%] over the same period) and four morbidity conferences. The median death/morbidity event-morbidity and mortality conference interval was 90 days (range, 7 d to 1.5 yr). The median age of patients was 4 months (range, newborn to 17 years). In six cases, the primary reason for PICU admission was a treatment complication. Unsafe processes/medical errors were identified and discussed in 37 morbidity and mortality conferences (77%). In seven cases, new autopsy findings prompted the discussion of a possible error. The 48 morbidity and mortality conferences identified 50 errors, including 30 in which an interface problem was a contributing factor. Fifty-four improvements were identified in 34 morbidity and mortality conferences. Four morbidity and mortality conferences discussed specific ethical issues.
CONCLUSIONS: From our experience, we have found that the interdisciplinary and interprofessional morbidity and mortality conference has the potential to reveal unsafe processes/medical errors, in particular, diagnostic and communication errors and interface problems. When formatted as a nonhierarchical tool inviting contributions from all staff levels, the morbidity and mortality conference plays a key role in the system approach to medical errors.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To present our experience in an interdisciplinary and interprofessional morbidity and mortality conference, with special emphasis on its usefulness in improving patient safety.
DESIGN: Retrospective analysis.
SETTING: Tertiary interdisciplinary neonatal PICU.
PATIENTS: Morbidity and mortality conference minutes on 48 patients (newborns to 17 yr), January 2009 to June 2014.
INTERVENTIONS: None.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The authors' PICU implemented a morbidity and mortality conference guideline in 2009 using a system-based approach to identify medical errors, their contributing factors, and possible solutions. In the subsequent 5.5 years, there were 44 mortality conferences (of 181 deaths [27%] over the same period) and four morbidity conferences. The median death/morbidity event-morbidity and mortality conference interval was 90 days (range, 7 d to 1.5 yr). The median age of patients was 4 months (range, newborn to 17 years). In six cases, the primary reason for PICU admission was a treatment complication. Unsafe processes/medical errors were identified and discussed in 37 morbidity and mortality conferences (77%). In seven cases, new autopsy findings prompted the discussion of a possible error. The 48 morbidity and mortality conferences identified 50 errors, including 30 in which an interface problem was a contributing factor. Fifty-four improvements were identified in 34 morbidity and mortality conferences. Four morbidity and mortality conferences discussed specific ethical issues.
CONCLUSIONS: From our experience, we have found that the interdisciplinary and interprofessional morbidity and mortality conference has the potential to reveal unsafe processes/medical errors, in particular, diagnostic and communication errors and interface problems. When formatted as a nonhierarchical tool inviting contributions from all staff levels, the morbidity and mortality conference plays a key role in the system approach to medical errors.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:January 2016
Deposited On:10 Feb 2017 09:15
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 12:05
Publisher:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
ISSN:1529-7535
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1097/PCC.0000000000000550
PubMed ID:26492061

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