The Wichita Quality Health Collaborative (WQHC), a committee of Wichita health care providers who focus on safe surgical practices, reconvened after five years on Jan. 28 to review surgical “time-out” procedures and discuss any new concerns.
The last time the WQHC met, in 2014, was to announce a citywide collaboration to use newly standardized surgical time-out protocols for use in operating rooms and ambulatory facilities across Wichita as part of an initiative to make Wichita the safest place in the country to undergo surgery.
Led by chairman Randall Morgan, MD, and facilitated by Brian Swallow, director of surgical services at Wesley Healthcare, the meeting was attended by physicians and clinical providers from Ascension Via Christi, Cypress Surgery Center, Associates in Women’s Health and Wesley.
“One of the reasons we wanted to meet again was to evaluate where we are and see if our needs have changed,” said Swallow, who was part of the original citywide time-out initiative. “It’s been a few years and there have been changes in the OR, so let’s see if the citywide time-out is still pertinent to everybody and consistent with the rest of the city.”
The committee discussed several points about time-out procedures, including new additions to it, such as introductions and debriefings, which the group felt should be more formalized. Other points of discussion included training for residents on time-outs, procedures in place for documenting intentional placements of packs and sponges during surgery, emergency checklist protocols, and reviewing sharps reporting procedures.
The committee agreed to meet again after reviewing some of the action items discussed and decide whether any modifications would be appropriate to the established time-out protocol adopted citywide, and other relevant surgical safety issues.
“We want to make sure everyone is on the same page, and this is an opportunity for everyone to work together to accomplish that by working collaboratively,” Swallow said.