Tak­ing a ‘time out’ for pa­tient safety

The Progress-Index Weekend - - OPINION - Bon­nie Pat­ton Ven­cill, RN, CNOR Colo­nial Heights

I am a reg­is­tered nurse work­ing in the am­bu­la­tory surgery unit at Bon Se­cours Saint Mary's Hospi­tal in Rich­mond, VA.

For a sur­gi­cal pa­tient, their fam­ily mem­bers and friends, a wrong pa­tient, wrong site, or wrong sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure is dev­as­tat­ing. As a pe­ri­op­er­a­tive RN, I'm com­mit­ted to help­ing re­duce sur­gi­cal er­rors and im­prove pa­tient out­comes by tak­ing a time out for ev­ery pa­tient, ev­ery time. By tak­ing a "time out" be­fore op­er­a­tive and other in­va­sive pro­ce­dures, a re­quire­ment of The Joint Com­mis­sion, sur­gi­cal team mem­bers con­firm the pa­tient, the pro­ce­dure and the surgery.

Ev­ery year, on Na­tional Time Out Day, hos­pi­tals and am­bu­la­tory surgery cen­ters around the coun­try are re­minded to eval­u­ate the qual­ity of their op­er­at­ing rooms' time out process. Time Out Day was es­tab­lished by the As­so­ci­a­tion of pe­ri­Op­er­a­tive Reg­is­tered Nurses (AORN) to sup­port the pro­to­col and build greater aware­ness for this im­por­tant pre-op step among sur­gi­cal team mem­bers.

I ad­vo­cate for pa­tient safety ev­ery day for each of my pa­tients!

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