June 17th is National Time Out Day. Not only is it a day that is nationally recognized, it was recommended as Universal Protocol in 2004. Surgical teams at Avera McKennan take a time out every day before every surgery to make sure they have the right patient and are doing the right surgery.
Avera McKennan Registered Nurse Angi Nemmers is calling a time out. It's something every surgical team goes through before a scalpel ever pierces the skin of a patient. The patient by the way, is also one of the nurses we'd normally see on the team, but they are doing a mock surgery for us so our cameras can get in close.
Patti Jagoe, RN is the Assistant Vice President Perioperative and Anesthesia Services at Avera McKennan. She says, "It's sort of like a flight crew on a plane that does their final check before they take off. Our surgical team does there version of a final check before the first cut.
Dan Vigness, CRNA is Avera McKennan's Nurse Anesthetist Supervisor. He says, "Well it's time to pause and take, what looks like organized chaos to those who aren't used to seeing it, and stop and look at the patient and make sure we have the right patient, we are doing the right procedure and have all the right equipment.
Another part of the checklist is a surgeon initials the part of the body that they are going to be operating on before they get in to the operating room. On our mock patient, the initials are on the left wrist (palm side).
Vigness says, "It's on the checklist to make sure the surgeon has signed his initials."
It may be National Time Out on June 17th, but to insure consistent patient safety, every day in Avera McKennan's OR is time out day.
National Time out was implemented by The Joint Commission, an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 16,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.