Improving Postoperative Rescue Through a Multifaceted Approach

Surg Clin North Am. 2021 Feb;101(1):71-80. doi: 10.1016/j.suc.2020.09.004. Epub 2020 Nov 2.


This article provides a better understanding of how interactions and relationships within hospital microsystems affect rescue. Through structured engagement of clinical champions, these rescue improvement tools may decrease rates of secondary and tertiary complications and enhance staff culture, confidence, and competence. The proposed 3-prong approach sheds light on how health care organizations can better sense, cope with, and respond to the unexpected and changing demands presented by clinically deteriorating postsurgical patients. These interventions lay the groundwork for the further development, testing, and implementation of larger scale rescue-focused initiatives, which could have a direct, population-level impact on mortality.

Keywords: Clinical decision making; Cognitive bias; Diagnostic error; Failure to rescue; Patient safety; Postoperative mortality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Failure to Rescue, Health Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Care / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*