Safety in the Eye Surgery Center & Surgical Setting

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Safety in the Eye Surgery Center & Surgical Setting

Safety in the eye surgery center at Baltimore Washington Eye Center is something we don’t want out patients to worry about. There are so many things that patients worry about when they have surgery! We, at Baltimore Washington Eye Center recognize that surgery can be a very stressful event in one’s life and so we do everything we can to minimize the worry. We strive to provide a caring, compassionate, and comfortable environment to all of our patients to help alleviate as much of their anxiety as possible. Our surgical staff has long been recognized by patients as professional, courteous and calming, not to mention, we do it with a shot of humor whenever we can! Laughter always seems to be the best medicine!

What kinds of things do we think patients worry about? Well, for one, there is always someone who has heard of, or knew someone who heard of surgeries done on the “wrong side”. Wrong side would refer to any part of the anatomy for which there is a right and a left.

I would like to tell our readers about the steps we take at our center to minimize the possibility of such errors. Patient safety has been and will always remain at the forefront of our goals in surgery. This seems like a timely topic to bring up because starting in October, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will require all Ambulatory Surgery Centers to report on specific criteria that help to ensure the safety of patients during the surgical process. One of these is “wrong site, side, patient, procedure and implant”.

So, what exactly do we do to be sure we have all the right information? Let me break down each step for you!
  1. Each patient has a consent form that he/she has signed after conferring with their doctor that identifies which eye they have agreed needs surgery. With regard to cataract surgery, the patient is put through a series of tests that help to gauge the appropriate lens implant for that eye.
  2. On the day of surgery, a mark is placed above the operative eye by either the physician or the nurse after reviewing the chart and having the patient confirm that it is the correct eye. The nurse will then place an identification bracelet on the wrist of the patient that corresponds with which eye is being operated on. So, before surgery even begins, there are two identifiers that are put into place for the patient’s safety!
  3. Your physician and nurses will review the chart on which the appropriate lens has been chosen, visually look at the lens to be sure it is the same one that was selected and then compare it with our schedule. And, of course, once again your doctor and nurse verify the correct side for surgery on the consent.
  4. Prior to the beginning of the surgery, a “time out” is performed so that all team members have the opportunity to identify which patient is in the room, which eye is being operated on, and which lens is to be used.
Safety is our number one priority for all of our patients. We appreciate all of our patients and do everything we can to ensure the outcome of the surgery provides the excellence for which we strive. As always, if you ever have any questions about this or any other issue regarding your surgery, you are encouraged to contact us. We want your surgical experience to be the best ever for you!

Guest Blogger: Katie Guglietta, R.N., ASC Manager at Baltimore Washington Eye Center
If you or someone you know has questions about safety in the eye surgery center, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or
Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.