Publication Date



Annals of Surgery Open


OBJECTIVE: This systematic review aimed to identify key elements of perioperative team-based morbidity and mortality conferences (TBMMs) and their impact on patient safety, education, and quality improvement outcomes.

BACKGROUND: Patient safety in the perioperative period is influenced by system, team, and individual behaviors. However, despite this recognition, single-discipline morbidity and mortality conferences remain a mainstay of educational and quality improvement efforts.

METHODS: A structured search was conducted in MEDLINE Complete, Embase, Web of Science,, Cochrane CENTRAL, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global in July 2022. Search results were screened, and the articles meeting inclusion criteria were abstracted.

RESULTS: Seven studies were identified. Key TBMM elements were identified, including activities done before the conference-case selection and case investigation; during the conference-standardized presentation formats and formal moderators; and after the conference-follow-up emails and quality improvement projects. The impacts of TBMMs on educational, safety, and quality improvement outcomes were heterogeneous, and no meta-analysis could be conducted; however, improvement was typically shown in each of these domains where comparisons were made.

CONCLUSIONS: Recommendations for key TBMM elements can be drawn from the reports of successful perioperative TBMMs. Possible benefits of structured TBMMs over single-discipline conferences were identified for further exploration, including opportunities for rich educational contributions for trainees, improved patient safety, and the potential for system-wide quality improvement. Design and implementation of TBMM should address meticulous preparation of cases, standardized presentation format, and effective facilitation to increase the likelihood of realizing the potential benefits.


adverse event, morbidity and mortality conference, patient safety, perioperative, quality improvement



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