June 7, 2022
Each week, approximately 40 instances of wrong site surgery occur in the US.
The Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN) created National Time Out Day to raise awareness about this critical patient safety issue by calling for surgeons and care teams to pause before starting an operation and review the importance of creating a safe environment for every patient, every time. This year, National Time Out Day is Wednesday, June 8.
The Joint Commission has addressed surgical time outs with the introduction of checklists and processes. It.
lays out four actions to prevent these “never events” in surgery:
The ACS has long been committed to addressing wrong site surgery and related events. ACS Quality Programs are dedicated to, among other goals, reducing complications in hospitals and surgical care centers through quality improvement interventions, including those echoed in National Time Out Day.
In 2016, the College issued a revised statement on safe surgery checklists to help ensure that operations are performed on the correct patient, correct site, and with the correct procedure. For patients, the ACS also has resources on its Patient Education web pages that discuss ways to mitigate the risk of wrong-site surgery.
In addition, you can read more about the importance of surgical timeouts and avoiding sentinel events in a 2016 Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons column by Carlos L. Pellegrini, MD, FACS, ACS Past-President and past Vice-Chair of The Joint Commission.