The Morbidity & Mortality Assessment Tool (MMAT): Design and Proof of Concept.


North Florida


Ocala Regional Medical Center

Document Type


Publication Date



graduate medical education, internships and residency, medical errors, morbidity, mortality, MMC, Morbidity and Mortality Conference, health care outcome assessment


Health and Medical Administration | Medical Education | Surgery


BACKGROUND: Morbidity and Mortality Conference (MMC) is a traditional quality assessment tool among surgical residencies to evaluate complications within their care and to integrate and educate best practices. Unfortunately, it is difficult to validate and measure loop closure as a result of MMC. This may result in repeating past mistakes or worse, becoming a meeting of anecdotal experiences. The goal of this study is to present results from a morbidity and mortality assessment tool (MMAT) which provides a means of measuring and tracking factors related to those surgical complications discussed within the MMC.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three years of MMC presentations were organized into a database and further divided and organized into variables which included case by the class year of the presenting resident, service line, month the case was presented, and potential contributing factors. Contributing factors considered for each case were categorized as: Systems-Based, Direct Patient Care, and Interpersonal Communication. Contributing factors were assigned to cases by a review committee consisting of residents and faculty members.

RESULTS: The lack of knowledge, technical error, lack of experience, lack of supervision, failure to communicate with team members were present in greater than 10% of the presented cases. There was a "July Effect" in the Trauma service, where there was a statistically significant difference between the percentage of cases presented that involved Failure to Communicate errors when compared with the remainder of the year.

CONCLUSIONS: MMAT allows longitudinal collection of data from each MMC to recognize patterns that facilitate improvements in systems of care and institutional memory.

Publisher or Conference

Journal of Surgical Research