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National Time Out Day

June 12, 2013

Time Out 2013Are you committed and is your team committed to conducting a safe, effective time out for every patient, every time?

National Time Out Day is a powerful tool that supports surgical nurses’ ability to speak up for safe practices in the operating room. Initiated as an annual awareness campaign by AORN in 2004, it has been consistently supported by The Joint Commission, the World Health Organization, and the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) for its ability to increase awareness of safe practices that lead to optimal outcomes for patients undergoing surgery and other invasive procedures.

This year, AORN urges members to evaluate how their time out fits into broader efforts to provide high quality care to every patient, every time. A poorly executed time out or lack of team communication may indicate areas for improvement within a safety culture.

Strengthen your “time out” practice 


  • Correct Site Surgical Tool Kit
    AORN's Correct Site Surgery Tool Kit offers a variety of resources to assist health care providers in implementing The Joint Commission's Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure and Wrong Person Surgery™.  Free to members*. 
  • Just Culture Tool Kit - Improve Patient Safety by Creating a Just Culture
    Creating a just culture promotes both professional accountability and reporting of medical errors and fosters a professional milieu that includes reporting systems and processes for improving patient safety through organized analysis. As part of AORN’s commitment to patient safety improvement, we created a position statement to promote just culture and a tool kit to help you implement it. Free to members*. 
  • Human Factors in Health Care Tool Kit
    Team Training Using Human Factors to Enhance Patient Safety Human factors skills are crucial to health care teams in safety-critical environments. When health care teams work well together, threats and errors can be recognized, prioritized, and managed before an adverse outcome becomes a reality. Free to members*. 
  • AORN Comprehensive Surgical Checklist
    This single surgical checklist includes safety checks outlined in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Surgical Safety Checklist and checks within The Joint Commission’s Universal Protocol to meet accreditation requirements. It is useful in all facility types – hospital ORs, ASCs, and physician offices – and is provided as a Word document to enable adjustments according to practice setting and specialty.

    All AORN Tool Kits are free to members. Learn about AORN membership and other member benefits. 
  • The Joint Commission Universal Protocol 
  • World Health Organization’s Surgical Safety Checklist  


Here are some tools and resources along with ideas that can help you build awareness of National Time Out Day in your hospital, ASC, or physician office.

Standards & Recommended Practices


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