The incidence of some of the more serious patient safety issues affecting American patients in hospitals including wrong site, wrong procedure and wrong patient surgery, surgical item retention, medication errors and pressure injuries, can be reduced by using appropriate safety strategies. Recently, experts published a list of 30 different patient safety strategies that can be used to address the top 10 patient safety issues compiled by members of the Association of Preoperative Registered Nurses.
The experts have suggested strategies to deal with each of these patient safety issues suggested by the nursing group. For instance, the strategies recently published in the AORN Journal suggest a collaboration between nurses and representatives from the surgeon's office in order to reduce the risk of performing wrong site surgery. Wrong site surgery is when the surgery is performed on the wrong part of the body. Wrong procedure is when the wrong surgery is performed on the patient.
It seems surreal with all the medical technology available today, wrong surgeries and wrong patient surgeries still occur. However, these medical errors are very real, and can have devastating consequences. Strict adherence to time out procedures can help reduce the risk of those errors.
Another relatively rare, but devastating error is the retention of surgical items in the patient's body. To prevent these errors, the experts suggest reduction of distractions in the operating room, alerting all team members when the count of surgical items begins and evaluating the use of technological devices in order to reduce retention errors. Likewise, medication errors can be reduced by taking care to separate medications used for pediatric, adult and neonatal use, and standardization of all medication trays.