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Do You Know the Common Causes of Wrong Site Surgery?

As it turns out, wrong site surgeries happen for many reasons and often the cause for the mistake happens before the patient is even scheduled for surgery.

 A new initiative of the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare believes that wrong site surgery should NEVER happen, so it has quite a challenge since, on average, 40 wrong site surgeries occur every week across the country and such surgeries are the most frequently reported sentinel events at hospitals.

Pilot hospitals are using principles from Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing to identify the causes of wrong site surgery and to develop solutions.

Arm yourself and your employees with the list of common causes for wrong site surgery that have already been identified. Some of the causes that patients can watch out for include:

  • Surgeon does not mark site in the pre-op/holding area
  • Inadequate patient verification
  • Site mark(s) removed during prep or covered by surgical draping

Check out the full list.

See a related blog post on how a wrong site surgery impacted a young boy and his family. We should never forget the faces that go along with the statistics about wrong site surgery and other medical errors.

See an earlier blog post on wrong site surgery from the Archives of Surgery.

As you can see, wrong site surgeries get a lot of attention but we still have them! It's time to get it right and that is what this Joint Commission project is all about.

Posted by Cristie Travis at 1:45 PM

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