Use of an anatomic marking form as an alternative to the Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure and Wrong Person Surgery

Napoleon Knight, John Aucar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Person Surgery was approved by the Joint Commission Board of Commissioners in July 2003 and became effective July 1, 2004. It requires the performance of a preprocedural verification process, marking of the procedure site, and performing a "time out" immediately before the start of a procedure. Compliance with the Universal Protocol requirements remains cumbersome because of the inherent characteristics of the surgical work flow process. Methods By working directly with the Joint Commission, their medical staff, perioperative nursing staff, and members of the hospital quality department, the authors were able to develop an innovative anatomic marking form, which serves as a surrogate for marking patients. Results The marking form has been used on 112,500 patients over 4.5 years, with a single implementation error that led to minimal patient harm. Conclusion This article describes the development of the anatomic marking form and the practical implications the process has on patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-809
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Volume200
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010

Keywords

  • Quality assurance
  • Sentinel event
  • Universal Protocol
  • Wrong-site surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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