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National Time Out Day

National Time Out Day

According to a new statement from The Joint Commission (TJC) and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), wrong site surgeries in the U.S. happen “…an estimated 40 times a week, or five times a day…” The consequences of wrong site surgery are immense, impacting the patient, family, as well as the surgical team. 


National Time Out Day is on June 8th and is intended to bring attention to the serious issue of wrong site surgery. The surgical time out is designed to make certain the entire surgical team takes a pause to ensure all members of the team are on the same page before a procedure begins. 


TJC’s Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, and Wrong Person Surgery requires accredited organizations to ensure:


  • The licensed independent practitioner (LIP) verifies the procedure
  • LIP marks the body part to be operated on.
  • Every member of the surgical team participates in a time out before operating to ensure that the correct procedure is about to begin on the correct part of the correct patient.


AORN initiated National Time Out Day to raise awareness about the importance of the surgical time out and also encourages facilities to use a Comprehensive Surgical Checklist.  Unfortunately, AORN reports an increase in reports of wrong site surgery in the past three years. Possibly because of the backlog of surgeries caused by the pandemic as well as the staffing shortages that have resulted in more temporary staff in OR. 


National Time Out Day should serve as an excellent opportunity to renew the focus on surgical safety and the prevention of wrong site surgery. TJC/AORN recommend the following actions:


  • Observe Time Out best practices
  • Review time out observations as a team
  • Test time out improvements
  • Enlist a time out champion on every team


Sign-up for a free StayAlert! Trial and get the following policies: 


  • Surgical Site Identification 


  • Invasive and Surgical Procedure Verification and Time Out Checklist 


  • Performance Improvement Outcome Monitoring Form – Eliminate Wrong-Site, Wrong-Patient, Wrong-Procedure Surgery





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