Provena institutes flight checklist as surgery prep

Provena institutes flight checklist as surgery prep

Your name? Check.

Kind of procedure you're here for? Check.

Your name matches your patient ID band? Check.

The inquiry continues as a medical team at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville prepares to begin a Caesarean section.

Before long, the maternal and child health department at Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana will follow a similar routine before operations, as part of the aviation-based safety training the hospital staffs are undergoing.

The hospitals were checking a lot of this information before starting an operation before, but this type of run-through – similar to the checklist a pilot runs through before takeoff – is interactive with the patient and more thorough than the "time out" procedure United Samaritans used to follow, according to Jennifer Cord, a nurse who directs women's services at that hospital.

"You can never be too safe, and you never want to wait for an accident to happen," she said.

Cord said there are different checklists for different procedures, with the run-through for a C-section, for example, also including introductions by every medical crew member in the room, from the scrub tech to the surgeon, and a chance for the patient to ask questions.

Cord's department at United Samaritans has already gone through the evaluation and training by LifeWings, a consulting firm staffed by pilots and doctors that provides safety programs for hospitals to help them reduce the potential for errors. Covenant's maternal and child health department just started the process.

Some of the training is about making certain tasks more consistent, rather than relying on peoples' memories, and empowering employees to speak up if they see a potential problem, Cord said.

United Samaritans' emergency department has also gone through LifeWings' safety training, she said.

Hospital spokesman Gregory Alford said Provena intends to try this new system in maternal and child health departments before deciding whether to expand it throughout every hospital department.

Renell Composto, director of maternal child health services at Covenant, said maternal and child health departments are a natural starting point for such training because those departments of the six Provena hospitals work closely together. Plus, labor and delivery can be a high-risk business.

"We don't want anything to happen to a mom or a baby," she said.

The Urbana and Danville hospitals have already taken steps to secure the labor and delivery areas from potential child abductions by installing security cameras and locking down the departments.

No longer can a visitor just stroll in and see a new baby. Now visitors are required to identify themselves at the door, and nobody gets in without the mom's permission. Nobody gets out of the unit without a security check, either.

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