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eDocTalk article

Red Rules yield results

January 2014

A year ago, Legacy implemented Procedural Red Rules to help ensure patient safety for all invasive procedures requiring consent. Since the implementation on Oct. 1, 2012, there have been no wrong-site procedures at any Legacy site.

Red Rules encompass procedures performed at the bedside, in a procedural area and in a clinic setting. They require that the care team must perform a time-out, with participation by the entire team, prior to every invasive procedure requiring consent. The correct site must also be re-verified immediately prior to incision/insertion.

Survey results

A recent survey of 153 Legacy physicians, nurses, managers and front-line staff showed that compliance with the Procedural Red Rules is around 90 percent system-wide.

“This compliance represents a lot of work to ensure patient safety,” says Lewis Low, M.D., chief medical officer, “but we need to continue to strive for 100 percent to do everything that we can to decrease the chance that we will harm our patients. We need to do everything to ensure the highest level of safety for our patients.”

Based on the survey feedback, most care teams are finding the Red Rules easy to follow.

Urgent procedures

Haste can introduce the opportunity for error. Remember that few cases are so urgent that following the Red Rules would compromise the safety of the patient. The Red Rules can be as simple as a final time-out in order to verify the correct patient, the correct procedure and the correct site.

“We thank all the care teams for their hard work implementing this important safety procedure that supports our Big Aim goal to eliminate needless deaths and preventable harm,” said Dr. Low. “We are improving the quality of care delivered, improving team communication and reassuring our patients by making safety our number one priority.


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