Preventing patient harm via adverse event review: An APSA survey regarding the role of morbidity and mortality (M&M) conference.


University of Texas Houston-Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality and Safety, 6410 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030-3006, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Peer-review endeavors represent the continual learning environment critical for a culture of patient safety. Morbidity and mortality (M&M) conferences are designed to review adverse events to prevent future similar events. The extent to which pediatric surgeons participate in M&M, and believe M&M improves patient safety, is unknown.
METHODS : A cross-sectional survey of the American Pediatric Surgical Association membership was conducted to evaluate participation in and perception of M&M conferences. Closed and open-ended questions were provided to gauge participation and perceptions of M&M effectiveness. Standard frequency analyses and tests of associations between M&M program attributes and surgeons' perceptions of effectiveness were performed.
RESULTS : The response rate was 38% (353/928). Most surgeons (85%) reported that they always participate in M&M, but only 64% believe M&M is effective in changing practice or prevention of future adverse events. Effective M&Ms were more likely to emphasize loop closure, multidisciplinary participation, standardized assessment of events, and connection to quality improvement efforts.
CONCLUSIONS : Most pediatric surgeons participate in M&M, but many doubt its effectiveness. We identified attributes of M&M conferences that are perceived to be effective. Further investigation is needed to identify how to optimally utilize peer-review programs to prevent adverse events and improve patient safety.


Morbidity and mortality,Patient safety,Peer review,Postoperative complications,Quality improvement,