Cooperation between anaesthetists-resuscitation specialists and surgeons: working better as a team

Patient Safety Solution
Tool to improve professional practice - Posted on Jan 13 2016

What is it about?

Cooperation between anaesthetists-resuscitation specialists and surgeons is part of a collective risk management plan to ensure patient safety: the sum of individual competences can only create a collective competence if there exists a joint definition of objectives and a sharing of responsibilities and results. Dysfunctions and communication deficiencies are factors of insecurity.

This Patient Safety Solution represents a tool for the analysis and improvement of professional practices.

Target audience

This patient safety solution concerns anaesthetists-resuscitation specialists and surgeons.



This document is the result of a collective effort by approved accreditation body for anaesthetists-resuscitation specialists and surgeons of various specialties. The analysis of adverse events declared by the members of the accreditation bodies served as the basis for its drafting and gives it its legitimacy.

The approved accreditation body for visceral and digestive surgery analyzed the 776 care-related adverse events reported by its members between 2012 and 2014. Of the 559 adverse events reported in 2012, 330 (59%) were linked to the relationship between anesthetists-resuscitation specialists and surgeons at different perioperative stages: pre-operative (26%), intraoperative (22%), and post-operative (39%). The preponderance of the post-operative stage was confirmed by a second analysis conducted on the care-related adverse events reported in 2013 and 2014 with, in 17% of cases, a lack of communication between anesthetists-resuscitation specialists and surgeons.

Moreover, communication deficiency within team is reported as one of the most frequent causes of care-related adverse events in the feedback database and in the scientific literature.

Risk reduction tools

The adverse events in-depth analysis allowed identification of causes and circumstances of adverse events related to the cooperation between anaesthetists-resuscitation specialists and surgeons and proposes a list of 15 essential points, in chronological order, identified as leading to the most frequent dysfunctions between anaesthetists-resuscitation specialists and surgeons.

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