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July 29, 2005

Hospitals strive to be "Safest in America"


I recently was in the hospital as you all know and I think that I received very good medical care but that doesn’t always happen. Imagine if you went into the hospital for surgery on you right knee and instead the doctors operated on your left. This is the kind of thing that hospitals in Minnesota are trying to prevent by sharing information with each other. Hospitals in the past have been reluctant to share embarrassing information about surgical mishaps with their completion but 10 Minnesota hospitals set aside their difference in the hope of making themselves safer. The 10 Minnesota hospitals are calling this program “Safest in America”. The top priority of this program is to prevent wrong side surgeries from taking place by making pre-operative procedures uniform for all of the hospitals. This helps because some nurses work at more than one hospital and to have every thing the same reduces confusion and possible mistakes. Another policy that has come out of this program is “cause for a pause”. Despite its funny name the policy is useful in preventing mistakes from happening before surgeries. The basic premise of the policy is to stop and say out loud what exactly what the surgical procedure was going to be performed and on what body part. Some other policies that have also resulted from this collaboration of information has been the elimination of 9 confusing abbreviations for prescription drugs, giving children prescriptions based on weight not age, and better blood sugar monitoring.

I think that it is good that hospitals are working together to make it safer for us all. I know that I would have one big law suit if the doctors operated on my wrong hand.

Posted by at July 29, 2005 12:20 PM


I think that this is a great idea. As patients of these hospitals, we pay tons of money to get surgeries and other health related routines done. I think that because we pay this large amount of doctor bills, that we should at least have a guarentee that they will operate on the correct knee and go over what exactly the problem is and what procedure they are going to do before they just start cutting you up for surgery.

Posted by: Dianna at July 29, 2005 1:12 PM

I think, this idea should have come out ever since in the first place. This is very good will to do a better job aleast to save life. Can you imagine how many people have died only because the wrong procedures were carried out by some doctors.

Posted by: Bill at July 31, 2005 9:39 PM

I agree with all of you. Hospitals and the personnel are supposed to take care of us, not harm us. I keep thinking about what we made those type of errors in our workplace -- would we still have a job to go to? I mean, I know that as humans we will make errors, but not so often they have to change plans, make new policies, etc.

I'm glad they are finally looking into it as well!

Posted by: Debbie at August 2, 2005 4:21 PM