In mid-February, the Joint Commission introduced a new online tool meant to help combat inconsistencies in the surgical time out process.
Explore this issue:March 2012
To access the tool, health care providers must log in to the Targeted Solutions Tool (TST) website (jointcommissionconnect.org), where they can review a list of events that should occur before an incision is made. The aim is to prevent a cascade of errors that can begin before a patient is wheeled into the operating room.
Project Leader Melody Dickerson, RN, MSN, said the tool is meant to help organizations measure risk across their surgical system, including scheduling, pre-operative and operating room areas. The tool assists in monitoring surgical cases for weaknesses that could result in wrong-site surgeries, she said. “Most organizations are really proud of their OR on-time start records,” she said. “Yet most don’t have a policy in place to ensure that the necessary documentation is available when the patient arrives for surgery.”