June 14 is National Time Out Day , a Joint Commission and Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) campaign to promote patient safety before, during, and after surgery. The organizations are also reminding healthcare facilities to commit to conducting a safe, effective time outs for each and every surgery.
This year’s theme calls on surgery staff to be a Time Out SUPERHERO; an acronym standing for nine elements of a surgical time out:
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
“National Time Out Day is a powerful tool that supports surgical nurses’ ability to speak up for safe practices in the operating room,” AORN wrote in a brief. “It provides an opportunity to educate your community about this practice and become better informed patients (read more about this in Periop Insider). Time Out also demonstrates your role in patient care and commitment to patient safety as the perioperative nurse who cares for them.”
Wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-person surgeries happen every day and surgical time outs are key to preventing adverse and never events. Everyone on the surgical team has to be fully engaged, accountable, and empowered to speak up during the time out process to prevent never events.
The Joint Commission has a list of free tools and resources available on surgical time outs.