PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 30, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Research is suggesting that communication between surgeons on a team is essential for improving patient outcomes, and Chadd Corwin has seen this first hand. The American Heart Association recently released a statement imploring surgeons to improve their communication efforts for the sake of patients. That statement came after the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor reviewed evidence collected during a number of surgical procedures.
published by MedPage Today argues that success in cardiac surgery is directly linked to the teamwork of the surgeons, nurses and anesthesiologists in the operating room. A review of evidence admitted that the research is still only beginning but is incredibly informative and should impact how surgeons think about the procedures they conduct.
As a cardiac surgical salesman, Chadd Corwin regularly meets with surgeons and surgical teams to discuss new technology and products. He also sometimes watches them in action.
"I've seen many different operating rooms at different institutions around the world," he said, "and the one universal factor of success is the OR team."
The article suggests that preventable medical errors are often attributed to a lack of communication and breakdowns in teamwork as opposed to technical skill failures. How a team communicates directly impacts its coordination and the care given to each patient. It is suggested that hospitals set up protocols that use checklists or briefings in each case, establish handoff procedures from the surgeon to other personnel and have training to improve communication between leaders and subordinate staff members.
"In the operating room, the surgeon invariably sets the tone, whether he or she realizes it or not," Corwin said. "Unfortunately, great skill as a surgeon doesn't translate into skill as a leader. That is where many institutions get into trouble with communication and coordination."
Teaching surgeons how to communicate procedures and set a tone in the operating room is essential for improving patient outcomes. The most skilled surgeons who cannot lead are far less effective than those who are also exceptional leaders.
Researchers suggest that hospitals look into operating room distractions and improve the integration of ideas from numerous sources. Policies that define disruptive behaviors and deal with them are also warranted for improving patient outcomes. Other hazards include the ergonomics, design and organizational culture of operating room staffs. Cardiac operating rooms are often designed to have the doors open several times each hour, but for lengthy procedures this increases the risk of infection.
"If any of the proposed models for improving outcomes are to be effective, they must be championed by the surgeon," Corwin said. "The surgeon has to lead by example. This goes for distractions, hygiene, noise and the establishment of protocols."
While the research looking at communication among teams is still in its infancy, there is reason to suspect that improved coordination and communication will likely lower costs, improve efficiencies and enhance patient outcomes. Chadd Corwin argues that hospitals and surgeons should take statements like the one issued by the American Heart Association seriously for the sake of each patient they treat.
is a cardiac surgical sales specialist. With more than a decade of experience selling medical devices to doctors and hospitals, he knows the keys to successful teams and the role quality equipment plays. Corwin entered medical device sales in 1999 as a way to combine sales skills passed down through generations of his family with his love of science. When he is not selling devices, he is a proud single father and a triathlete who competes in events nationwide.