Parallels in safety between aviation and healthcare.J Pediatr Surg. 2018 May; 53(5):875-878.JP
Aviation and healthcare are complex industries and share many similarities: the cockpit and the operating theater, the captain and the surgeon. While North American commercial aviation currently enjoys a tremendous safety record, it was not always this way. A spike of accidents in 1973 caused 3214 aviation-related fatalities. Over the past 20years, the rate of fatal accidents per million flights fell by a factor of five, while air traffic increased by more than 86%. There have been no fatalities on a U.S. carrier for over 12years. Last year, there were 251,454 deaths in the United States owing to medical error. Pilots pioneered ways to address risks through crew resource management (CRM), and threat and error management (TEM). Both strategies, which are aimed at minimizing risk and optimizing safety, are applicable to surgery and the healthcare industry. These strategies as well as the Swiss Cheese Model, Checklists and the Normalization of Deviance will be reviewed in this article.