Time-outs play crucial role in safe surgeries

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For a surgical patient, their family members and friends, a wrong patient, wrong site or wrong surgical procedure is devastating. As a perioperative registered nurse, 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 to support the protocol and build greater awareness for this important pre-op step among surgical team members.

Time-outs are so important to our patients and their families. As a nursing leader, I know that we will be celebrating this National Time Out Day and hope that our community will celebrate with us that this protocol exists and being used in order to keep our patients safe.

Thank you for taking the time to increase the awareness of using a time-out and the importance of the registered nurse in every surgical procedure to promote safety and quality outcomes.

Leigh Anne Best Bartlett