Enhanced Time Out: An Improved Communication Process

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Abstract

An enhanced time out is an improved communication process initiated to prevent such surgical errors as wrong-site, wrong-procedure, or wrong-patient surgery. The enhanced time out at my facility mandates participation from all members of the surgical team and requires designated members to respond to specified time out elements on the surgical safety checklist. The enhanced time out incorporated at my facility expands upon the safety measures from the World Health Organization's surgical safety checklist and ensures that all personnel involved in a surgical intervention perform a final check of relevant information. Initiating the enhanced time out at my facility was intended to improve communication and teamwork among surgical team members and provide a highly reliable safety process to prevent wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-patient surgery.

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