The Burning Platform: Improving Surgical Quality and Keeping Patients Safe

  • Juan A. Sanchez
  • Kevin W. Lobdell


The foundation of a health delivery system must include a patient-centered approach which emphasizes quality and patient safety. Remarkable change is under way in healthcare and the surgical environment is, in many ways, “ground zero” in this revolution given its “target-rich” environment. The full continuum of care before, during, and after surgery is expensive, fragmented, and associated with a high number of complications. We believe that the current segmented care model must transition to an integrated care model based on excellent coordination throughout the entire perioperative system, from the minute the surgeon and the patient decide that a procedure is needed until the patient is discharged and transferred to his or her primary care provider or medical home. Experience and acquired knowledge from other scientific disciplines and industries which have successfully addressed and mitigated risky systems and variable quality can be rapidly applied to the transformation of contemporary surgical practice. Although the science of measuring the quality of surgical care remains in its infancy, surgical leaders have been at the forefront of reform and improvement. This chapter aims to inform, inspire, and motivate all those involved in caring for the surgical patient to consider how their environments can be redesigned and refocused on patient safety, reliability, and effectiveness both in and out of the operating room.


Surgical care Quality Medical errors Variation in healthcare Overuse Underuse Healthcare complexity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryAscension Saint Agnes Hospital, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety & Quality, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Sanger Heart & Vascular InstituteCharlotteUSA

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