Lourdes brings NASA developed pilot safety skills to the operating room


CAMDEN – Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center closed its operating room for a day-long “cockpit training” session with aphysician and former NASA astronaut to create safer, more efficient practices modeled after the airline industry.

Patient safety expert, James Bagian, MD, led the training which included all OR physician and nursing staff. The session educated staff members on teamwork and communication exercises, checklist development, “read and verify” approaches, briefing and de-briefing methods and techniques for challenging one another regarding safety risks. The training session centered around patient safety with a focus on reducing errors in the OR.

Lourdes, a member of Catholic Health East (CHE), a multi-institutional Catholic health system, was selected to pilot the training for the organization’s 34 hospitals because of its leadership position in patient safety, high OR volume and variety of complex surgeries performed there.

The roots of the pilot training program date back 30 years to the concept of finding causes for airline crashes.

Studies show that surgical deaths dropped 18 percent and complications reduced 17 percent in hospitals that underwent the pilot safety training compared to those that had not.