27 March 2013


It is widely believed that miscommunication is the most common cause of preventable medical errors. It is also believed that these account for more deaths than breast cancer, automobile accidents and drowning. Communicating patients’ difficult airway status is one area where improving communication is making a lifesaving difference.

Up to 8.5 percent of patients have difficult airways, also known as difficult to intubate (DTI) patients. Unfortunately, approximately 25 percent of those are not detected until it is too late. Getting ready and staying ready for DTI emergencies before they happen is the key to saving lives.

When physicians and staff at Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Fla., searched for more effective DTI protocols, they found none existed. So the Memorial team began the process of researching and developing their own.

Joseph Loskove, M.D., Regional Medical Director of Sheridan Anesthesia Division, cites how new protocols for communicating patients’ DTI status developed by teams at Memorial Healthcare System have become industry best practices. How could these examples lead to improved process management in your healthcare environment? Read Dr. Loskove’s full article now. Share this with other colleagues and professionals.