Last week I have made a presentation at the seminar “Surgical Education 2020”. Focus of my presentation was about patient safety and how to achieve this. Estimates are that yearly in the Netherlands alone 1200 people die because of avoidable errors. This means that each surgeon on average, at the end of his career, saw 5 people die because of an avoidable error he or she made.
We all make errors. If I make an error there is a spelling mistake in a report. When a surgeon makes an error somebody might die. Keeping the myth alive that surgeons do not make errors is an error in itself. Only by sharing errors, analyse them and implement improvement in the proces is the best way to improve processes. This is the most important lesson that aviation has to teach to the medical profession.