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Safety time-outs

Our goal: Make Wichita the safest place in U.S. for medical procedures

Via Christi is implementing a standard safety time-out protocol before all surgeries and other invasive procedures as part of a community-wide effort to make Wichita the safest place in the nation to undergo surgery and other procedures.

The new time-out protocol was developed by Via Christi clinicians in collaboration with the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, Wesley Medical Center, Kansas Heart Hospital and other healthcare organizations. Studies have shown that a standard and effective surgical time-out can reduce mortality by 44 percent by preventing errors such as wrong-site surgeries and operating room fires.

The collaborative Wichita-wide project was initiated by Dr. Randall Morgan, chair of the Quality Subcommittee of Via Christi’s Clinical Practice Committee, and Via Christi’s surgical care Performance Improvement Team.

Ruth Hommertzheim, Via Christi’s clinical process reliability coordinator, played a major role in developing the new protocol in collaboration with quality leaders from Wesley Medical Center and Kansas Heart Hospital.  

The new time-out procedure was launched at a meeting March 17, 2014, at the Kansas Leadership Center that was attended by more than 100 physicians, nurses, other clinicians and administrators from most of Wichita’s healthcare organizations. 

The collaborative team of clinicians who developed the protocol created a toolkit that surgical leaders can use to help implement the new procedures. Two time-out training videos also were produced by Via Christi’s Communications team to educate clinicians on the new procedures.

More video

Time-out news conference