AUSTIN, Texas — An effort to avoid errors in medical facilities that was instituted in 2004 by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and revised in 2010 is heading toward the pilot testing phase of a formal manual, said Jill Chmielewski, associate project director at the accreditation organization.
The UPSIDE initiative, the acronym for universal protocol simulation implementation and defect evaluation, is intended to prevent what the Oak Brook, Ill.-based organization describes as “wrong site, wrong person and wrong procedure surgery.”
There are as many as 40 such mistakes nationwide each week, the commission estimates, and outside estimates put the number as high as 11 per day, Ms. Chmielewski said Tuesday during a session at the annual conference of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management.
Also known as the “universal protocol,” the mistake avoidance project relies on simulations, often involving real patients, to test each step of a procedure before it's actually performed.
Pilot testing of a formal manual, funded in part by ASHRM, is the next phase of the project, but Ms. Chmielewski said securing staff and patient participation in simulations — and avoiding interruptions during such simulations — remains a challenge in advancing the effort to reduce preventable mistakes at health care facilities.
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