Process Driven Guidance for Complex Surgical Procedures

AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2018 Dec 5;2018:175-184. eCollection 2018.


Surgical team processes are known to be complex and error prone. This paper describes an approach that uses a detailed, validated model of a medical process to provide the clinicians who carry out that complex process with offline and online guidance to help reduce errors. Offline guidance is in the form of a hypertext document describing all the ways the process can be carried out. Online guidance is in the form of a context-sensitive and continually updated electronic "checklist" that lists next steps and needed resources, as well as completed steps. In earlier work, we focused on providing such guidance for single-clinician or single-team processes. This paper describes guiding the collaboration of multiple teams of clinicians through complex processes with significant concurrency, complicated exception handling, and precise and timely communication. We illustrate this approach by applying it to a highly complex, high risk subprocess of cardiac surgery.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Checklist*
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Models, Organizational
  • Operating Rooms / organization & administration
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted