Report Says Wrong Site Surgery Occurs as Frequently as 40 Times Each Week

Modern Healthcare (6/29, McKinney) reported according to the Joint Commission, “National rates of wrong-site surgeries-which include wrong procedure, wrong side and wrong patient-can reach as high as 40 incidences a week.” The Commission’s Center for Transforming Healthcare “partnered with eight hospitals and surgery centers for the project. Those organizations used robust process improvement tools to identify problems and develop focused interventions.” Commission President Dr. Mark Chassin suggested, among other solutions, “a carefully standardized method of gathering patient information at the time of scheduling can reduce the likelihood of surgical errors.” The Commission will make available all the “interventions” this fall once the project has been completed.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal (6/30, Harasim) reported that the eight hospitals or surgical centers participating in the project found that in addition to ineffective communication and distractions that took place in the operating room, other things that led to wrong site surgery included deficiencies related to the pre-operation and scheduling processes.

Medscape (6/29, Crane) reported that “a ‘time out’ without full participation by all key people in the operating room was identified as another contributing factor that increased risk.”