RI hospitals adopting surgical safety process

Never events have always been a huge concern, but with CMS and other payers refusing to cover never-event surgeries, hospitals have even more reason to eliminate them. Now, Rhode Island hospitals are working together to address the problem.

Beginning today, all of Rhode Island's 14 hospitals have agreed to implement a new surgical-safety protocol designed to prevent wrong-site and wrong-patient surgeries. This makes the state the first to implement a voluntary statewide program addressing these issues, according to the Hospital Association of Rhode Island.

The Rhode Island protocol was developed by a statewide committee including providers and medical professional organizations. It includes a verification protocol similar to the World Health Organization's surgical safety checklist, as well as the Joint Commission's universal protocol checklist.

The protocol also includes a briefing process requiring providers to verify surgical site marking, proper identification of patient and procedure and confirm the use and availability of medication and other required supplies. It also includes a time-out process reviewing and confirming the elements included in the briefing process.

To learn more about the process:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

Related Articles:
Study: Pre-op briefing can lower surgical errors
Study: Never events a major factor in hospital liability costs

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