How this California ASC makes limiting wrong-site surgeries and infections a priority

Patrick Haley, administrator of Freedom, Calif.-based Central Coast Surgery Center, details what his surgery center staff members do to reduce the probability of wrong-site procedures and infections.

Question: What protocols does your ASC have in place to limit wrong-site surgeries and infections?
Patrick Haley: We have always had the patient and surgeon independently mark the site of surgery, but have recently transitioned to having the surgeon lead the time-out in the room rather than the circulator. This puts the ownership upon the primary surgeon and per staff reports [and] has been more effective in getting the whole team's attention. We are all doing time-outs in our rooms, but taking a good look at the quality of that one moment in time is critical.
Q: What are some challenges staff members face in staying compliant with infection control protocols and how do you get staff members on board with reducing infections and wrong-site procedures in the ambulatory setting?
PH: It is easy to get people on board with preventing infections and wrong-sites. Patient safety is a goal that everyone gets behind immediately. Keeping people on board is the challenge. The tasks are often repetitive so the tendency is to slack off on the simple stuff when no one is watching. Keeping constant monitors in place on the simple things, like hand washing and surgical attire, keeps these topics in the forefront.

Learn more from Patrick Haley at the 24th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs in October 2017. Click here for more information.

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