Patient safety in outpatient surgery: the viewpoint of the healthcare providers

Ergonomics. 2006 Apr 15-May 15;49(5-6):470-85. doi: 10.1080/00140130600568717.


The objective of this study is to understand the viewpoint of healthcare providers with regard to patient safety in outpatient surgery settings. Two methods were used to gather data from the healthcare providers: (1) questionnaire with open-ended questions about six predefined stages of the patient care process; (2) survey with closed questions. With the first method, the main quality and safety of care issues concerned communication to patients, coordination of reports and forms, patient and staff time pressures and standards of care. The first two stages of the outpatient surgery process, i.e. patient work-up prior to day of surgery and patient admission and preparation on the day of surgery, yielded many more comments than the other four stages. The results of the structured questionnaire show that, overall, the healthcare providers report high quality of care provided by themselves (98%) and their surgery centre (96%). With regard to patient safety (i.e. cancellations of surgeries, patient safety problems and serious mistakes), there was a clear difference in perceptions reported by the physicians vs. the nurses and other staff. Nurses and other staff were more likely to report patient safety problems than physicians. The combination of qualitative data from the initial questionnaire and the quantitative data from the structured questionnaire provides a rather complete view of the outpatient surgery staff perceptions of quality and safety of care. This research highlights the importance of getting input from the healthcare providers regarding the quality and safety of care rather than relying only on traditional measures about patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures / standards*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Ergonomics
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Organizational
  • Personnel, Hospital / psychology
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Safety Management*
  • Surgicenters / organization & administration
  • Surgicenters / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wisconsin