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APD’s Surgical Team “Takes Time Out” To Ensure Patient Safety


On June 16, 2010, the surgical team at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital joined physicians, nurses, and surgical technologists from around the country in observing National Time Out Day. This annual event is sponsored by the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), the Council on Surgical Safety (CSPS) and The Joint Commission, an independent national organization that accredits and certifies more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

Time Out Day was established to raise awareness about the importance of requiring the entire surgical team to pause and “take time out” before all invasive procedures. The team of physicians, nurses and surgical technologists pause to communicate as a group and confirm key information about the patient and procedure to help prevent medical errors from occurring.

This year, APD is implementing a new surgical comprehensive checklist that will start with each patient as they enter the preoperative area and carry through to the recovery room.  The Comprehensive Surgical Checklist was established at AORN with the help of WHO representatives as well as the Joint Commission. The new checklist utilizes and promotes the continuation of “Time Out,” but is now more expansive and will carry throughout the Surgical Services Department ”We in Surgical Services understand that surgical mistakes take place every day across the nation,” explains RN Phyllis Barrell of Surgical Services, “and we want to do whatever it takes to make sure our patients are safe during their surgeries and invasive procedures here. We know that a checklist can make surgery safer by improving communication surrounding patient care, and we recognize that these tools won’t work unless they are used within an environment that supports open communication among all members of the surgical team.  We feel that APD is the perfect environment for these tools to work.”