Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wrong site surgery is a Never Event

wrong siteWrong site surgeries have been occurring since operations have been performed. Wrong site surgery is considered a preventable error involving a surgical procedure performed on the wrong patient, wrong body part, and/or wrong side of the body. (Chodruff)

The definition also encompasses patients who are not scheduled for a procedure, procedures which are performed and not scheduled, or those which differ from what was scheduled; in all cases, there is a breakdown in communication, causing the error.
According to Medicare, wrong site surgery is a "Never event". Never events are events that should never happen because when they do occur, they can cause serious injury or death to the patient.

Examples of never events include: Surgery on a wrong body part, Surgery on a wrong patient, wrong surgery on a patient. In most cases, Medicare pays only for items or services that are reasonable and necessary for the treatment of the patients condition, or certain preventive services required by the Medicare law. Medicare does not pay the doctor and the hospital/outpatient surgery center for an erroneous surgery.

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