3 wrong-site surgeries prompt changes at Phoebe Putney

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After a string of wrong-site surgeries, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga., suspended one surgeon and submitted a correction plan to CMS, according to a WALB report.

The three wrong-site surgeries involved operating on the wrong hip of one patient and the wrong spinal locations of two other patients, according to a CMS document posted by WALB.

In response, the hospital submitted an action plan to CMS, which involves holding surgeons accountable for pre-operation activities like marking the correct surgery site in presence of the patient with a nurse witness and standardizing the process for addressing a discrepancy in the pre-op area. Staff had to attend a presentation and learn a "stop the line" process, which involves speaking up to stop a process entirely if imminent harm is identified or to ask for clarification if they perceive a possible threat to patient safety, according to the report.

Additionally, for the next six months the hospital will randomly select 50 patients to check if hospital staff followed informed consent protocol.

"We responded with strong and immediate action and have taken this opportunity to review and modify our procedural safety protocol where needed," a Phoebe Putney statement given to WALB reads in part.

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