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The Secret to Time Out Success

Asking all team members to speak makes a huge difference.

Published: February 20, 2014

Surgical teams do a much better job of complying with surgeon-led time outs when all members of the team are asked to say out loud that they understand and agree with what's being said.

A recent study in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety found that when each team member was required to speak up, time out completion improved from 54% to 97%. Additionally, team members stopped what they were doing in 96% of cases, compared with 78% when they weren't expected to speak up.

Encouragingly, the improved performance was still being sustained 18 months after implementation, say the authors.

Jim Burger


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