Skip to main content

All Content

Search Tips
Save
Selection
Format
Download
Published Date
Original Publication Date
Original Publication Date
PSNet Publication Date
1 - 20 of 28
Neily J, Soncrant C, Mills PD, et al. JAMA Netw Open. 2018;1:e185147.
The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum both consider wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-patient surgeries to be never events. Despite improvement approaches ranging from the Universal Protocol to nonpayment for the procedures themselves and any consequent care, these serious surgical errors continue to occur. This study measured the incidence of incorrect surgeries in Veterans Health Administration medical centers from 2010 to 2017. Surgical patient safety events resulting in harm were rare and declined by more than two-thirds from 2000 to 2017. Dentistry, ophthalmology, and neurosurgery had the highest incidence of in–operating room adverse events. Root cause analysis revealed that 29% of events could have been prevented with a correctly performed time-out. A WebM&M commentary examined an incident involving a wrong-side surgery.

Chicago, IL: American Hospital Association, Health Research and Educational Trust, and Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare; 2014.

Wrong-site surgery is a never event, but still occurs at alarming rates. This report discusses risks related to wrong-site surgery, along with their root causes, and describes initiatives associated with a Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare project. The authors highlight improvements in scheduling surgeries, preoperative processes, operating room preparations, and organizational culture that substantially reduced wrong-site surgeries in the eight hospitals participating in the program. A prior AHRQ WebM&M commentary by Dr. Charles Vincent discussed a case of a wrong-site procedure.
Following biopsies for two skin lesions on his left cheek, a patient was sent to an outside surgeon for excision of squamous cell carcinoma. Although the referral included a description and diagram, the wrong lesion was removed.
Shah RK, Nussenbaum B, Kienstra M, et al. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;143:37-41.
This survey of otolaryngologists found that many respondents had personal experience with wrong-site surgery. Incorrectly labeled or inverted radiographic images were frequently implicated as a contributing cause.
Joint Commission.
The Joint Commission has traditionally focused on accreditation of health care organizations and, through its Joint Commission Resources arm, on quality improvement (QI) in areas related to its accreditation functions. In the first major initiative under the leadership of new president Dr. Mark Chassin, The Joint Commission launched this Center, which will focus on applying rigorous QI methods to improve safety in a number of challenging areas (the first three are hand hygiene, handoff communication, and preventing wrong site surgery) and disseminating the lessons from these efforts. This Web site provides more information about the Center and its goals.
Rhodes P, Giles SJ, Cook GA, et al. Qual Saf Health Care. 2008;17:409-15.
Wrong-site surgery is a rare yet devastating outcome. Prevention strategies have focused on adoption of the Joint Commission's Universal Protocol and structured communication tools such as time outs. This study examined the impact of a national safety alert issued to all NHS hospital trusts in England and Wales about preventing wrong-site surgery. Investigators interviewed surgeons and senior nurses in the 12-15 months following the alert and discovered significant variation in the adoption of proposed recommendations. While the alert was associated with greater awareness and surgical marking of sites, the authors discuss the complex nature of change management around the new policy. A related commentary [see link below] discusses the broader context of efforts to eliminate wrong-site surgery. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed the factors contributing to a near-miss wrong-site surgery, and a recent commentary outlined the anatomy of a time out.
Garnerin P, Arès M, Huchet A, et al. Qual Saf Health Care. 2008;17:454-8.
This study combined implementation of verification protocols with periodic audits and feedback to increase compliance with patient identification in the prevention of wrong-patient and wrong-site surgery. While the process did improve, the authors advocate for technological solutions to address the limitations of purely manual systems. A related commentary [see link below] discusses the broader context of efforts to eliminate wrong-site surgery.
A patient underwent tooth extraction, but awoke from anesthesia and found that the wrong two teeth had been removed.
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses; AORN
This Web site includes information and resources for National Time Out Day, an initiative to raise awareness on the importance of surgical team time outs. The annual observation is in June.
Makary MA, Mukherjee A, Sexton B, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2007;204:236-43.
Although wrong-site surgeries are rare, they have devastating consequences for patients and are often a harbinger of serious safety problems within an institution. The Joint Commission's Universal Protocol for prevention of wrong-site surgeries requires performing a "time out" before beginning surgery to ensure that all operating room personnel are familiar with the patient, the procedure, their role, and how to respond to complications. In this study, operating room personnel were surveyed regarding their perception of the risk of wrong-site surgery before and after institution of timeouts. Respondents felt teamwork improved and the overall risk for wrong-site surgery decreased after implementing the protocol. An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) WebM&M commentary discusses the factors contributing to a near-miss wrong-site surgery.
Dunn D. J Perianesth Nurs. 2006;21:317-28; quiz 329-31.
The author explains the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' Universal Protocol on surgical site verification in the context of its implementation in a New Jersey hospital.
Mitchell P, Nicholson CL, Jenkins A. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2006;148:1289-92; discussion 1292.
The authors interviewed surgeons involved in wrong-site incidents and found that the errors of omission were primarily due to distractions in the operating environment.