Patient Safety in Operating Room

Patient Safety in Operating Room

The National Patient Safety Goals serve to foster specific enhancements in the patient safety. The safety goals account for or describe the lack of compliance in hospitals. The issues related to National Patient Safety Goals include inappropriate medication reconciliation, preoperative verification, time-out deficiencies and poor communication as regards to crucial test results.

Accurate verification of consent, schedule, physical examination, laboratory results, and history and pathology reports is paramount to patient safety as pertains to surgery.  The information is supposed to be known as achieved accuracy and completeness before leaving a surgeon’s office. Accurate and complete verifying this information before operation day helps identify any discrepancies and make reconciliation (Pennsylvania Patient authority, 2011).

Use of Evidence-Based Practice to Meet Patient Safety Goals in Operating Room

Preoperative verification as well as time-out deficiency in operating room remains the greatest challenge as far as patient safety is concerned. Preoperative verification or confirmation entails accuracy and completeness of all information relevant and appropriated to the surgical operation (Pennsylvania Patient authority, 2011). The information includes consent, schedule, physical examination, laboratory results, and history and pathology reports. Time-out involves the surgeon, nursing staff, surgical technician and anesthesia provider.

The use of evidence-based practice helps eliminate wrong site operations and minimize post-operative complications. The evidence-based practice principle emphasizes on the need to specify the correct site of surgery during procedure scheduling on the basis of consent. Correct site and operation is specified on informed consent.  In this regard, the procedure is correctly stated on consent. Evidence-based practice mandates that scheduling information be verified from surgeon’s office

The practice dictates that any person reviewing the consent, schedule, physical examination or history documenting or storing the diagnosis ought to check for inconsistencies and reconcile discrepancies if any with the concerned surgeon.

The surgeon is supposed to have supporting data uniquely contained in office record on material day. In addition nurses and surgeons are obliged to verify preoperatively.

All information pertaining to the patient’s information is subject to preoperative verification. Before the patient is taken into operating room, all information that support correct site and operation, including the family or patient’s verbal understanding is verified (Pennsylvania Patient authority, 2011). Comparing preoperative verification against relevant information helps reduce errors such as wrong-site operation and procedure.

All oral verification is done based on questions that provide active response as pertains to the specific information that is sought after. For example, asking the client to state her/his full name, correct site and procedure. Then the nurse identifies the client by verifying this information using ID band (Pennsylvania Patient authority, 2011).

Any discrepancies are resolved by a surgeon, depending on the source of this information.

The correct site is marked by a physician’s initial names based on verification. The health practitioner familiar with the marking policy does the making and the accuracy is marked all relevant information. Separate time-outs for separate formal procedures should be applied, while all non-essential activities must stop in the event of the time-out.

Patient safety goals are also achieved where the operating team orally confirms that their understanding actually matches the information found in relevant documents. In case of concerns by part of the members regarding the information provided during time-out, the concerns are addressed.   Differences that emerge during time-out are best resolved by developing a reconciliatory process. The entire operation team should be involved in more active communication.


Among the issues related to national patient safety goals include preoperative verification, time-out deficiencies, wrong-site operations and poor communication. Evidence-based practice requires preoperative verification of all information relevant and appropriated to the surgical operation and separation of time-out for the separate procedures.


Pennsylvania Patient authority. (2011). “Table. Deficiencies of Evidence-Based Best Practice Principles in Error Analyses of Wrong-Site Operative Procedures.” Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory, 8 (4): 146-147.

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