National Time Out Day

PUBLISHED: Jun 15, 2017
Sources: Miscellaneous, The Joint Commission
Relevant to: Hospital, Ambulatory Care

Today is National Time Out Day, an awareness campaign started by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) to support safe practices in the operating room. The awareness program, initiated in 2004, is supported by professional associations, The World Health Organization and The Joint Commission.

This year, AORN’s theme is SuperHero:

Support a safety culture

Use The Joint Commission’s Universal Protocol and AORN Surgical Checklist

Proactively reduce risk in the OR

Effect change in your organization

Reduce harm to patients

Have frank discussions about hazardous situations

Empower others to speak up when a patient is at-risk

Respect others on the surgical team

Openly seek opportunities for improving patient safety

Communicating the importance of the surgical time out to the organization is a vital part of supporting a culture of safety. The time out is a short pause immediately before incision where the entire operating team verifies:

  • Patient identify
  • Procedure being performed
  • Operative site
  • Other pertinent information

The surgical time out is a key strategy in preventing wrong-site, wrong-side, wrong-procedure or wrong-person surgery.

Included with today’s notice is an example policy relevant to the time out process.

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