Operating Rooms Time-Out

In health news, going under the knife can be a scary thing for many people, especially when published reports estimate 98,000 people die each year due to preventable medical errors.

A national program already implemented at a local hospital is proving to be a lifesaver.

By the time a patient is rolled into the operating room, TMH staff say their identity and procedure have been checked over and over again, but knowing mix-ups can happen, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital implemented the "golden moment of silence" two years ago.

TMH is actually two years ahead of the game. Just last week it was mandated nationally for accredited hospitals to take a time out before making an incision.

With the moment of silence in place, TMH neurosurgeon Christopher Rumana says they haven't had one problem. He adds while patient safety is the main motivation, the final precautionary measure gives him peace of mind.

Dr. Christopher Rumana says, “It’s a tremendously hurtful thing for someone and the doctor involved would probably be devastated permanently.”

Hospital staff say patients can also help out by following several guidelines such as verifying information on your patient identity bracelet and speaking up if you have any concerns.