National Time Out Day – June 15

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RNs are crucial to preventing medical errors, and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) is bringing special attention to ensuring safe OR practices through its campaign, National Time Out Day, June 15.

Wrong-site surgery and other preventable mistakes still occur in operating rooms, even though The Joint Commission requires all accredited health care facilities to practice a time out as part of its Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Person Surgery™.

To support the protocol and build greater awareness among surgical team members, AORN launched the National Time Out Day initiative in 2004. The initiative’s goal is to prevent errors by ensuring that all physicians, nurses, and surgical technolo¬gists pause before all invasive procedures so they can communicate as a group and confirm key information about the patient and procedure.

AORN members are committed to a “time out” to verify correct person, procedure, and site, but they report that not everyone on the surgical team is fully engaged. Further, they are uncertain about what they can do to encourage full participation.

With the support of the World Health Organization and The Joint Commission, AORN has assembled several tools and developed new resources to support members' desire to champion the use of time out. They are available at