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June 13 is National Time Out Day


Since June 13 is National Time Out Day, the perioperative nurses of
Alaska's Last Frontier Chapter of the Association of Operating Room Nurses
think it's a good opportunity to remind everyone who works in the
operating room how important it is to take a time out for every patient,
every time.  Taking a "time out" before operative and other invasive
procedures is a requirement of The Joint Commission Universal Protocol to
prevent wrong site, wrong procedure surgery. Despite this requirement, 152
wrong patient, wrong site, wrong procedures were reported in 2011 to the
accrediting agency.

This may seem like an insignificant number when every year, more than 40
million patients are admitted for surgery at U.S. hospitals and another 31
million undergo outpatient procedures. But The Joint Commission estimates
that wrong site surgeries occur up to 40 times a week.  To support the
protocol and build greater awareness among surgical team members, the
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) launched the
National Time Out Day initiative. The initiative's goal is to prevent
errors by ensuring that all physicians, nurses, and anesthesia providers
pause before all invasive procedures so they can communicate as a group
and confirm key information about the patient and procedure.

Wrong patient, wrong site, wrong procedures are sentinel events -
described by The Joint Commission as "an unexpected occurrence involving
death or serious physical or psychological injury, or the risk thereof."
To all of us at (facility name), they are tragedies. That's why we adhere
to the standards of the Universal Protocol and with AORN, commemorate
National Time Out Day with this public commitment to our patients, their
loved ones and the entire surgical community  that we encourage all who
workl in the operating room to always take time out for every patient, every time.

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