Structure of Where We Practice
Ophthalmologists practice in different settings, such as clinics and operating rooms. These workplaces can be complicated because they may or may not be dedicated solely to the practice of ophthalmology. To reduce and prevent adverse medical events, it is first important to have a team dedicated to ophthalmology and/or an ophthalmology subspecialty at the workplace, according to Jan de Faber, MD, SOE President.
The entire team, including nurses and other ophthalmic personnel, must be familiar with the equipment and be given the authority to make patient-focused safety decisions. The second important consideration at the workplace is the electronic health record (EHR), which should be helpful and not a hurdle. The EHR should help facilitate an effective time-out process in the operating theater as well as serve to alert the surgical team to any inconsistencies in the patient’s care (e.g., a very different intraocular lens [IOL] power in the second eye). Typos or cut-and-paste errors in EHRs can often lead to medical errors due to wrong-site or wrong-muscle documentation.