Beginning July 1, all 14 of Rhode Islands hospitals will voluntarily adopt a newly developed surgical-safety protocol aimed at preventing wrong-site and wrong-patient surgeries.
The action makes Rhode Island the first region to implement a voluntary statewide program addressing wrong-site surgeries, according to officials at the Hospital Association of Rhode Island. Last year, the CMS and other payers issued new payment rules that placed such surgeries on a list of never events that hospitals will no longer be reimbursed for correcting.
Rhode Islands protocol was developed by a 17-member statewide committee comprised of providers and medical professional organizations, said Jean Marie Rocha, vice president of clinical affairs for the HARI. The verification protocol is similar to the World Health Organizations surgical safety checklist and the Joint Commissions universal protocol checklist, but is simpler and easier for hospitals to implement, she said.
The protocol includes a briefing processwhich requires providers to verify the surgical site marking, properly identify the patient and procedure, and confirm the use and availability of medication, diagnostic test and other pertinent informationand a time-out process that reviews and confirms the briefing process checklist.