Surgical Safety: Addressing the JCAHO Goals for Reducing Wrong-Site, Wrong-Patient, Wrong-Procedure Events




Under standards set forth by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), health care facilities are required to implement established patient safety goals. The efforts by a team at the Naval Hospital, Cherry Point, NC (NHCP), to address and prevent wrong-site surgery have resulted in an initiative that can easily be implemented within other facilities. After developing a surgical verification checklist, the NHCP wrong- site surgery initiative adopted consistent, facility-wide policies that required staff to ensure that all surgical procedures are done on the right patient and at the right location, and that the correct procedure is performed. A mechanism to measure the effectiveness of the new initiative by recording and tracking data was put into place. Within the first 4 months of implementation, the operating room (OR) had reached its benchmarking goal of 100 percent compliance with surgical verifications. In addition, a simple educational tool displayed in numerous OR and clinic areas serves as a reminder to caregivers and consumers that patient safety is at the top of the NHCP priority list.



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