Safety in Hand Surgery: Eliminating Wrong-Site Surgery

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Learning Objectives:After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Understand the definition of wrong-site surgery and what it may encompass. 2. State the causes of wrong-site hand surgery. 3. Give examples of initiatives used to prevent wrong-site surgery. 4. Describe a process to minimize the risk of performing wrong-site surgery.Summary:Wrong-site surgery remains a problem in our ever-evolving culture of surgical safety, and hand surgeons are at particularly high risk. Broadly speaking, wrong-site surgery is a procedure performed at an incorrect anatomical site. In hand surgery, this includes errors in laterality, wrong digit(s), wrong procedure(s), or even a failure to complete all indicated procedures. This article examines the scope of this safety issue, the current challenges to preventing wrong-site surgery, and the authors’ proposed solutions to eliminating wrong-site surgery and establishing a culture of safety in hand surgery.

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