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Morbidity and mortality conferences: their place in quality assessments

Elodie Sellier (Unité de qualitique et d'évaluation médicale, CHU Grenoble, Grenoble, France)
Sandra David‐Tchouda (Centre d'investigation clinique, CHU Grenoble, Grenoble, France)
Gaëlle Bal (Unité de qualitique et d'évaluation médicale, CHU Grenoble, Grenoble, France)
Patrice François (Unité de qualitique et d'évaluation médicale, CHU Grenoble, Grenoble, France)

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 16 March 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to analyze morbidity and mortality conferences (M&MCs) in a university‐affiliated hospital, notably their format and progression since the 1990s.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross‐sectional study was conducted and M&MC characteristics were collected using three methods: a questionnaire to all department heads to identify past M&MCs; semi‐structured interviews with each M&MC leader; and when available, meeting reports were analyzed.

Findings

Of 189 questionnaires sent to department heads, 105 were completed and returned (55.6 per cent). A total of 27 M&MCs were identified; five times more than in 1994. The M&MC format varied greatly between departments. In surgical units, cases per conference tended to be higher than in intensive care or medical units and paramedical staff were invited less often. Compared with 1998, head nurses (70.4 vs 27.3 percent, p=0.03) and paramedical staff (63.0 vs 18.2 percent, p=0.03) attendance increased significantly. Physicians considered M&MCs important for improving service quality, patient safety and enhancing team cohesion.

Research limitations/implications

Patient outcomes were not assessed.

Practical implications

Although undefined formats allowed leaders to conduct M&MCs according to their objectives, how these conferences are conducted should impact healthcare quality and safety.

Originality/value

Results indicate that M&MCs have evolved over the past 20 years, showing them to be valuable quality and safety improvement methods.

Keywords

Citation

Sellier, E., David‐Tchouda, S., Bal, G. and François, P. (2012), "Morbidity and mortality conferences: their place in quality assessments", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 189-196. https://doi.org/10.1108/09526861211210411

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited