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Radiology Daily
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Universal Protocol Applies to Many Health Care Situations

March 8, 2008
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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In an effort to reduce the incidence of surgical errors, the Joint Commission
on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has published the Universal
Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure and Wrong Person Surgery
for use in the operating room.

However, the Universal Protocol can and should be used in health care
situations beyond the operating room in which the staff must verify the right
patient, the right procedure, and the right body part(s).

Any time an interventional procedure is scheduled in a radiology department or
in any other practice area, and any time a central line is being placed at a
bedside, the Universal Protocol should be incorporated.

The Universal Protocol applies to all situations in which the staff must
verify the right patient, the right procedure, and the right body part(s). As
an industry, health care has not done a great job checking all these important
points of information when providing care to a patient outside of the
operating room.

Based on these events, Kathleen Hale and her staff have produced an
educational video about wrong-site events, wrong surgeries, etc. This video is
used to educate all new and existing personnel in many hospitals and clinics.
The Department of the Army has made use of that video as well. They distribute
it to all their different medical facilities as learning lessons.

A second video has also been produced to help with communication among all the
different providers. Among health care workers, the catch phrase “I need some
clarity” has been introduced. If there is an issue between providers (for
example, a nurse who has a question for a physician, or one physician does not
understand the plan of care), then this phrase allows them to say something
very non-confrontational, instead of accusing someone of being stupid.

The whole point is to deal with issues and questions as they arise, to deal
with them in real time, and to straighten out any misunderstandings or
mistakes. The goal is to avoid ‘never events’ by allowing the health care team
members to communicate with each other.

Reference
Kathleen Hale, RN, BSN, MHSA, and Richard P. Kidwell, JD Never Events:
Applying the Universal Protocol Beyond the Operating Room.

In an effort to reduce the incidence of surgical errors, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations has published the Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure and Wrong Person Surgery for use in the operating room. However, the Universal Protocol can and should be used in health care situations beyond the operating room in which the staff must verify the right patient, the right procedure, and the right body part(s). Any time an interventional procedure is scheduled in a radiology department or in any other practice area, and any time a central line is being placed at a bedside, the Universal Protocol should be incorporated. The Universal Protocol applies to all situations in which the staff must verify the right patient, the right procedure, and the right body part(s). As an industry, health care has not done a great job checking all these important points of information when providing care to a patient outside of the operating room. Based on these events, Kathleen Hale and her staff have produced an educational video about wrong-site events, wrong surgeries, etc. This video is used to educate all new and existing personnel in many hospitals and clinics. The Department of the Army has made use of that video as well. They distribute it to all their different medical facilities as learning lessons. A second video has also been produced to help with communication among all the different providers. Among health care workers, the catch phrase "I need some clarity" has been introduced. If there is an issue between providers (for example, a nurse who has a question for a physician, or one physician does not understand the plan of care), then this phrase allows them to say something very non-confrontational, instead of accusing someone of being stupid. The whole point is to deal with issues and questions as they arise, to deal with them in real time, and to straighten out any misunderstandings or mistakes. The goal is to avoid 'never events' by allowing the health care team members to communicate with each other. Reference Kathleen Hale, RN, BSN, MHSA, and Richard P. Kidwell, JD Never Events: Applying the Universal Protocol Beyond the Operating Room. [text_ad]
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