Impact of preoperative briefings on operating room delays.
Communication failures are a continued source of concern with regard to the safety of surgical patients. The Joint Commission elevated this concern by requiring a "time out" before any procedure to ensure that all operating room personnel are familiar with the patient, the procedure, their role, and how to respond to complications. This study demonstrated that use of a briefing tool reduced unexpected operating room delays by more than 30% and decreased the frequency of communication breakdowns that lead to such delays. A past study by the same investigators reported that implementation of time outs also improved teamwork and reduced the overall risk for wrong-site surgery. A past AHRQ WebM&M commentary discussed the key components of a time out.