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57th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May, Essen

Employees risk assessment as a basis for preventive clinical risk management in neurosurgery

Risikobewertung durch die Mitarbeiter als Basis für das präventive klinische Risikomanagement in der Neurochirurgie

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author S.B. Sobottka - Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden
  • G. Schackert - Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurochirurgie, Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Essen, 11.-14.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocP 02.22

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 8, 2006

© 2006 Sobottka et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: To prevent the occurrence of medical treatment errors a proactive quality management involving the employees of the Department is essential. To achieve a preventive clinical risk management in neurosurgery systematic employee surveys were established with the aim to identify topics and areas in the patient treatment process bearing preventable risks.

Methods: Employees questionnaires covering all treatment related processes of patients care were designed for the groups of (1) surgeons, residents and ward physicians, (2) ward nurses and (3) surgical nurses using a process analysis approach. Using a relative scale the occurrence probability of medical errors compared to an average clinic, their presumable negative effects and the degree of controllability were estimated by the employees for all treatment related processes. In addition, current preventive measures and possible additional preventive actions were noted. The employee surveys were voluntary, confidential and non-punitive for the participants.

Results: The data of the questionnaires were analysed by a risk management group consisting of members of all professional groups. The return rate of the questionnaires were 77% (surgeons, physicians), 54% (ward nurses) and 80% (surgical nurses), respectively. A risk portfolio was set up defining areas and processes with certain hazard potential in the department. A priority list could be made out for further actions to continuously optimize treatment quality.

Conclusions: Insufficient communication and documentation, missing standards and suboptimal processes are causing the major preventable quality risks in the care of neurosurgical patients.