Quality Improvement Focused Morbidity and Mortality Rounds: An Integrative Review

Cureus. 2020 Dec 18;12(12):e12146. doi: 10.7759/cureus.12146.


Morbidity and mortality conference (MMC) is a century-old tradition in medicine that was initially primarily focused on the review of surgical outcomes and errors. In recent years, the value of MMC in quality improvement (QI) and patient safety initiatives has been realized and incorporated into the MMCs of some disciplines and institutions. Despite this, there is a need for a standardized structure of MMC that emphasizes both QI and patient safety. The purpose of this integrative review is to synthesize the literature on MMC structure that is reflective of QI and patient safety. An integrative literature search was carried out using PubMed and MEDLINE. Abstracts were reviewed and non-relevant articles were excluded. Exclusion criteria were no mention of MMC, analysis of specific case, no focus on QI or patient safety, and non-English language. A total of 21 articles were identified for review. Articles were reviewed in their entirety for content regarding structuring of the MMC to reflect and further develop QI and patient safety. The follwing three themes emerged that were consistently identified as being important for restructuring MMCs: (1) the importance of careful case selection, (2) the format of discussion during the conferences, and (3) the action plans reflecting QI initiatives derived from the conferences. The review suggests that one standardized method of MMC implementation that encompasses the three pivotal themes should be developed. Further research needs to focus on instituting measures of effectiveness for the new MMC model.

Keywords: healthcare quality; medical education; morbidity and mortality; patient safety.

Publication types

  • Review