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Despite articles, research, intense national media, and tool kits and training from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and other organizations, the Joint Commission (JCAHO) documents that the number of incorrect site surgeries actually increased in 2005. While some of this probably is due to improved reporting, JCAHO, AORN, and others have frequently heard that the Universal Protocol is still not uniformly followed and that surgical team is not taking the required time out to verify the correct patient, correct site and correct procedure prior to surgery.
This year, AORNs National Time Out Day will again focus on the Universal Protocol. Despite the focus of year-round patient safety instead of a specific day, at the request of some facilities which want to concentrate training and re-affirm the commitment to implementation of the Universal Protocol, AORN will again designate the third Wednesday in June as National Time Out Day.
AORN has designed and will distribute a new poster to remind professionals, healthcare providers, administrators, and patients that "Taking Time Out for Patient Safety Every Patient, Every Time" is the top priority for safe healthcare delivery. ARN members can request a copy of this poster by e-mailing their name and address to: ORtimeout@aorn.org
In the interest of patient safety, AORN is making all of the materials and educational components of the 2004 Correct Site Surgery Tool Kit available for free and in a format allowing individuals and facilities to download and reproduce them. The AORN Correct Site Surgery Tool Kit contains a variety of resources to educate healthcare providers about the Universal Protocol and to assist them with its implementation, including:
-- An educational program on CD-ROM.
-- A pocket reference card outlining the steps necessary to promote patient identification, site marking, and the time out.
-- A template for a policy to assist you in the development of your facility policy to implement the JCAHO Universal Protocol.
-- Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Person Surgery and Guidelines for Implementing the Universal Protocol.
-- Frequently asked questions from JCAHO and AORN.
-- Letters to nurses, physicians, facility chief executive officers, and healthcare risk managers encouraging standard implementation of the Universal Protocol across all facilities.
-- Information for patients about the universal protocol and healthcare safety.
-- Additional resources regarding correct site surgery.
The pocket reference cards are also available laminated in packages of 25. The first package of 25 is available for free. Additional packets of 25 can be purchased for $12.50 each. Send an e-mail to: ORtimeout@aorn.org to request cards be mailed to you.