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Why Does Wrong-Site Surgery Keep Happening?
Put policies in place to make sure surgeons always cut where they should.
Kendal Gapinski-Kloiber | Contributing Editor
Publish Date: April 7, 2022   |  Tags:   Patient Safety Medical Malpractice-Legal Healthcare IT Workplace Culture
Wrong Site
DULY NOTED The operating surgeon should mark the surgical site and confirm the correct location during the safety time out.

Wrong-site surgery is devastating for the patient, the staff who worked the case and the surgeon who made the incorrect cut. Still, the avoidable error remains the third most reported sentinel event related to perioperative services, according to Deborah Spratt, MPA, BSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, CHL, an independent perioperative consultant based in Rochester, N.Y. Ms. Spratt is incredulous that wrong-site surgery still occurs, despite implementation of global checklists, safety protocols and education initiatives aimed at preventing it. “In 2006, the New York State Department of Health developed a protocol addressing and identifying wrong-site surgery as a top priority,” she says. “It’s 2022, and we’re still having the same conversations. You’d think we would have solved the problem by now.”

There are a few key things that can prevent this never event from occurring — once and for all.

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