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Team-Based Pre-Procedural Pause Makes For Near-Perfect Checklist Completion

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Adoption of a team-based pre-procedural pause, also known as a "time-out," is most effective when using a team approach, according to an article from the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

Analysis of the time-out showed that when surgeons led time-outs, only 54 percent of surgical checklist items were completed and team members stopped to pause 78 percent of the time. When the each member of the surgical team provided a personal confirmation of time-out, checklist completion increased to 97 percent and team members stopped for the pause 96 percent of the time.

In addition, team members in the new time-out format introduced themselves 94 percent of the time, a 50 percent increase over the surgeon-led time-out.

Researchers concluded a culture of teamwork may significantly improve safety within the OR, and a team-based pre-procedural pause is an expense-free way of working toward this goal.

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