Study identifies wrong-site surgery risk factors

Orthopedic surgery comprised 35.3% of 68 wrong-site surgery claims from 2013 to 2020, according to a May study. Published in the Joint Commission Journal of Quality and Patient Safety, the authors analyzed closed claims data on wrong-site surgery to identify risk factors, patterns and other circumstances of wrong-site surgery. Neurosurgery and urology followed orthopedic surgery at 22.1% and 8.8%, respectively. The most common types of procedures involving wrong-site surgery were spine and intervertebral disc surgery (22.1%), arthroscopy (14.7%) and surgery on muscles and tendons (11.8%). The severity of claims was higher in the inpatient setting compared to the ambulatory care setting. Failure to follow policy/protocol and failure to review medical records were the top contributing factors of wrong-site surgery at 83.8% and 41.4%, respectively. (Joint Commission Online article, 5/10/23)