It was a devastating experience for the entire team and the patient since it altered his life. It damaged the reputation of the health facility after the patient filed a legal suit, causing financial loss and needless suffering and pain. On further review of the cause of the incident, it was noted that the patient’s test results had been mixed up, there were incorrect markings, there was poor communication between the nurses and the doctors, poor teamwork, and there was miscommunication on whether it is the patient’s right or left limb that was to be amputated. Consequently, the jury found the facility liable of negligence and was heavily fined.
The ECRI Institute (2008) affirms that some of the major intervention measures that should be prioritised in order to avoid erroneous operations are the utilization of scheduling forms, ensuring that the entire team has verified a patient’s information prior to the procedure, making sure that the nurses or physicians selected have performed the right site marking, and using time check-outs. A culture of effective and open communication between the nurses and the patients, as well as the OR team should be cultivated to help prevent future cases of wrong site surgeries. Moreover, team policies, procedures and dynamics that include having a comprehensive checklist is also critical in avoiding reoccurrences. This means that before commencing the procedure or entering the room, the hospital and the entire team should check if they are operating the right person, if they are conducting the right procedure, and whether they are doing it on the right side or part of the body. The OR nurses should also practice patience with the patients when asking them questions with regard to their operation.
It is also important to offer perioperative nurses with sound information on wrong site surgeries to enhance patients’ health and safety. Additionally, ...
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