When I think about time outs, my immediate thought goes back to 1993. I grew up as a University of Michigan Basketball fan and the Fab 5 made it to the NCAA championship game against the University of North Carolina. It was the moment when Chris Webber ran down the court with 11 seconds left of the game and called a time out. The only problem is his team was out of timeouts, causing a turnover and costing them a chance of winning the championship.
A time out is very critical in sports. It allows coaches and teammates to communicate strategy and important aspects of the game. At times, a perfectly executed timeout can change the outcome of a particular play or even the game.
Tomorrow is National Time Out Day. I wanted to take the time to recognize the importance of the "Time Out" in this week's issue. The "Time Out" takes place in order to alert staff to take a critical pause during surgery preparation. Reviewing procedures before surgery can help prevent wrong-site, wrong-person, wrong procedure surgeries. Be sure to take time and meet with your staff regarding your department's time out process. Paper bags, signs, labels and other items with "Time Out" printed on them are effective tools to remind everyone of the importance to take a surgical pause before the start of the surgery.