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Surgery Teams Across the U.S. Take Time Out in the Operating Room

AORN National Time Out Day Supports Correct Patient, Correct Procedure, and Correct Surgical Site

DENVER, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) annually promotes National Time Out Day, this year on June 17, to emphasize the importance of surgical teams taking a time out to confirm vital patient information before beginning every invasive procedure. Wrong-site surgery and other preventable mistakes still occur too frequently in operating rooms even though The Joint Commission requires all accredited health care facilities to practice a time out as part of its Universal Protocol and the World Health Organization (WHO) provides a safety checklist for surgical teams to use in operating rooms.

Surgical teams all understand the importance of pausing before invasive procedures so they can communicate as a group and confirm key information about the patient and procedure yet, as individuals, they can be unclear about their role in its facilitation. Brian Tepp, AORN membership director, noticed this common concern in Member Talk, the Association's online discussion board. "Members were asking each other for ideas and tips on how they could assure an effective time out," said Tepp. Based on this member feedback, AORN extended an open invitation to hospitals and ambulatory surgery facilities to videotape their team's process for the Association to share on its web site as examples. "We thought videos would be an excellent method to demonstrate best practices in action."

"As the leader in advocating for excellence in perioperative practice and healthcare, we always are looking for strategies that will further protect surgical patients," said Patrick Voight, RN, BSN, MSA, CNOR, AORN president. "National Time Out Day and the videos will remind and teach surgical staff members to focus on the safety of each and every patient they see. We are proud of this initiative and the commitment from across the country."

Dozens of videos were reviewed by clinical editors of AORN recommended practices and evaluated according to criteria set for compliance using either the WHO check list or the components of the Universal Protocol depending on the facility's respective procedure. The judges selected ten videos that were strong in meeting each component of the check list and, while minor discrepancies from the AORN recommended practices were considered as tie-breakers in the assessment, they did not prevent a video from being recommended for use on the AORN web site.

The 2009 National Time Out Day videos are:

Children's Hospital - Boston

Exempla St. Joseph Hospital - Denver

Florida Hospital - Orlando

Jennersville Regional Hospital - Westgrove, Penn.

Marion General Hospital - Marion, Ohio

Memorial University Medical Center -- Savannah, Ga.

NYU Langone -- New York

St. Joseph Mercy - Howell, Mich.

University Hospital -- Cincinnati

White River Medical Center - Batesville, Ark.

The ten facilities will each receive a copy of AORN Perioperative Standards and Recommended Practices, 2009 edition as a gift from ClearCount Medical Solutions, Inc.

This year, AORN collaborated to promote awareness of time out with the American Nurses Association, the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities, the Council on Surgical & Perioperative Safety, and The Joint Commission to remind professionals, health care providers, and administrators that "Every Day is Time Out Day."

As part of this patient safety initiative, AORN revised its Correct Site Surgical Tool Kit to assist health care providers in implementing The Joint Commission Universal Protocol. The tool kit contains a variety of resources to educate health care providers about the Universal Protocol and to assist them with its implementation.

To view the 2009 National Time Out Day videos and learn more about National Time Out Day, go to

About AORN

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses represents approximately 42,000 Registered Nurses in the U.S. and abroad who facilitate the management, teaching and practice of perioperative nursing, or who are enrolled in nursing education or engaged in perioperative research. Its members also include perioperative nurses that work in related business and industry sectors. AORN's mission is to promote safety and optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures by providing practice support and professional development opportunities to perioperative nurses. For more information, visit

SOURCE Association of periOperative Registered Nurses
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