Time-out: The Professional and Organizational Ethics of Speaking Up in the OR

Berlinger, Nancy; Dietz, Elizabeth
September 2016
AMA Journal of Ethics;Sep2016, Vol. 18 Issue 9, p925
Academic Journal
Participation in patient safety is one concrete expression of a foundational principle of medical ethics: do no harm. Being an ethical professional requires taking action to prevent harm to patients in health care environments. Checklists and time-outs have become common patient safety tools in the US and other nations. While their use can support ethical practice, recent research has revealed their limitations and has underscored the importance of interpersonal collaboration in developing and using these patient safety tools. This article summarizes key research and discusses the professional and organizational ethics of patient safety, using the surgical time-out as a case study.


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