Cannon team making surgery safer

By implementing a safe surgery checklist, Cannon Memorial Hospital’s Surgical Department is addressing potential  issues before they arise rather than waiting to react. 

In response to a statewide initiative to reduce the number of wrong site and other errors  in surgery, the Pickens hospital formed a committee to review ways to improve surgical outcomes at the 55-bed facility. The end result was a safe surgery checklist, which was initiated by Dr. Jim Mahanes, general surgeon at Cannon.  The checklist was printed, enlarged and laminated, then placed in the operating room. 

“On each case, a timeout is called to identify the patient, the site of surgery and ensure that all of the equipment necessary is present and any other concerns are addressed,” said Dr. Mahanes.  

Viewing the initiative as an opportunity for improvement, members of the surgical staff have been very supportive.  “We have found that it provides consistency from one patient to the next and from one staff member to the next,” said Tracy Raines, nurse manager in the OR.  “It allows us to have a plan of action that will best benefit the patient,” she added.