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Reducing Medical Errors Focus of Creighton Lecture

Reducing Medical Errors Focus of Creighton Lecture

Eduardo Salas, Ph.D., a leading expert on organizational teamwork, will speak noon- 1 p.m., Feb. 21, on the importance of promoting teamwork and enhancing patient care in medical settings.

His talk, titled “Promoting Teamwork When the Lives of Others Depend On It – What Does It Take?” is free and open to the public. The event will take place at Creighton University Medical Center’s Morrison Seminar Room, 601 North 30th St.

Salas is trustee chair and professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida, Orlando. The co-author of more than 300 journal articles and book chapters, his current efforts focus on teamwork and minimizing human error in health care, law enforcement and aviation.

It’s estimated that preventable medical errors cause more than 98,000 deaths annually in the United States, Salas said in a phone interview. Seventy percent of all medical errors can be attributed to breakdowns in interactions between health care providers and health care teams, he added.

“The solution to patient safety is not in the medicine but in psychology and engineering,” he said. “That’s why teamwork is so important. A lot of people say they understand what teamwork is, but they aren’t doing a good job of executing.”

He added that teamwork is particularly important in environments such as health care where the stakes are high, the answers are not black and white, and there is conflicting data on which to base decisions.

Salas’ presentation is part of the Creighton University School of Medicine’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Sponsors include Creighton’s School of Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Continuing Medical Education Division, the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions, and the Creighton Health Services Research Program. Continuing medical and nursing education credit is available.

Posted: 2/12/07

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