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Open Access Editorial

The 5th anniversary of “Patient Safety in Surgery” – from the Journal’s origin to its future vision

Philip F Stahel16*, Wade R Smith2, Dieter Hahnloser3, Giuseppe Nigri4, Cyril Mauffrey1 and Pierre-Alain Clavien5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Denver Health Medical Center, University of Colorado, School of Medicine, Denver, CO, 80204, USA

2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Swedish Medical Center, Englewood, CO, 80113, USA

3 Department of Visceral Surgery, University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV), CH-1011, Lausanne, Switzerland

4 Department of Surgery, Sapienza University of Rome St. Andrea Hospital, 00189, Rome, Italy

5 Department of Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, CH-8091, Zurich, Switzerland

6 Department of Orthopaedics and Department of Neurosurgery, University of Colorado, School of Medicine, Denver Health Medical Center, 777 Bannock Street, Denver, CO, 80204, USA

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Patient Safety in Surgery 2012, 6:24  doi:10.1186/1754-9493-6-24

Published: 18 October 2012

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

Patient Safety in Surgery” (PSS) was launched on November 7, 2007, as the first and only open-access, peer-reviewed, PubMed-cited online journal in the field of surgical patient safety [1]. Five years later, PSS remains the sole journal devoted to patient safety issues in surgery. The conception of the Journal’s mission originated in the summer of 2006 with a group of surgeon colleagues brain-storming about the meaning of the dogma that “good judgment comes from experience which comes from poor judgment”. During our routine weekly morbidity and mortality conferences in Denver and Zurich, we regularly unraveled severe complications generated by younger colleagues on their “learning curve”. Unfortunately, the patient is the one who eventually pays the price for the individual surgeon’s experience. We speculated about new options for sharing root causes of preventable incidents and complications, in order to avoid similar events to re-occur in a different patient in a different hospital. This fruitful debate led to the brainchild of creating a new international “forum” for exchanging case scenarios of specific surgical complications. This forum should be easily accessible, and include discussion of root causes, preventability, and action items needed for resolution and prevention of the future re-occurrence of identical, or similar, adverse events. Our debate also scrutinized the tendency of most standard print journals to publish positive data exclusively, with little room for negative results and reports on surgical failures and poor patient outcomes [2]. In a united consensus, we reasoned that the best option for creating a new forum of unrestricted reporting and debate on quality of care issues in the perioperative setting would be to start our own journal. The enthusiasm of the successive weeks let to the design of the mission statement for PSS (http://www.pssjournal.com/about webcite). We further brain-stormed about the most suitable and representative project title for the new journal, and came up with some of the following tentative suggestions: