Outpatient Surgery Magazine

The Power to Prevent SSIs - June 2017 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 61 of 132

the OR," says Dr. Haynes, a surgical oncologist with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "Once we conclude the time out, I always say, 'At any point during the surgery, if anyone sees anything they think is not right or if they're unclear about what we're doing, please speak up.'" And they do — every day. Usually it's the little things: "You might want an extra drape here or there because it's not quite as covered as we'd like" or "Someone's glove touched an unsterile part of the field." In all too many ORs, though, potential red flags are noted but not spoken aloud. Dr. Haynes ascribes this silence to entrenched behav- iors rooted in the traditional surgeon-first hierarchy, or simply the fear of being wrong and then chastised for interrupting the workflow. He's been heartened by a shift away from this archaic OR culture, even though it's happening more slowly than he would like. "We should have an environment in the OR where it's not consid- ered a courageous thing to say, 'I think you contaminated yourself,'" he says. "As a surgeon, I would be mortified if someone felt they were in any way not brave enough to say something like that. It's about members of a team working together, not the surgeon who believes others should speak only when spoken to. That's an absurd concept." When, how to say it A lack of courage has likely been a contributing factor in the crush of wrong-site surgeries, infections and other medical errors that happen in U.S. ORs every year. The result of not speaking up can bear a heavy weight, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (osmag.net/D5ePMp). Their data shows that medical errors now account for as many as 251,000 deaths per year — nearly 700 per day — or about 9.5% of all deaths annually in the United States. 6 2 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J U N E 2 0 1 7 SURGICAL ERRORS

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