The easiest mistake to make when performing surgery is to operate on the wrong side, for example confusing the left knee with the right knee. In fact, the majority of wrong site surgery (WSS) errors are classified as wrong side, ranging from 70% to 81% of overall events. (Seiden 2006; Clarke 2007).
A recommended practice for orthopedic surgeons is to "Sign Your Site", marking their initials on the part of the body that it intented for surgery. But accidents still occur.
It is also known that colors can help the brain process information and is frequently used in safety applications. Color theorists believe that color influences cognition and behavior through learned associations. When people repeatedly encounter situations where different colors are accompanied by particular experiences and/or concepts, they form specific associations to colors. (Mehta 2009)
So color coding is another way that surgical safety can be improved, associating laterality with a particular color.
A study was conducted at a single site over a twelve-month period. Similarly to the experience reported in a peer-reviewed publication, patient harm was prevented and errors were captured. Additionally, a downward trend in near misses was observed, with zero reported during the last five months of the period. This suggests that the StartBox System can help healthcare facilities and providers improve their patient safety and risk profiles over time.
Kim Kramer will lead StartBox in capitalizing on its goals of mitigating risk, reducing medical liability costs and increasing healthcare operational efficiencies.
Innovative Technology System to Prevent Wrong Site Surgery and Capture Near Misses: A Multi-Center Review of 487 Cases