Gong, Hospital, Surgery, Health

DETROIT (WWJ) – At the start of every surgical procedure the staff takes a “time out” — a pause to perform a pre-surgical checklist to ensure patient safety.

Now, one local hospital is adding something extra to keep their patients safe — a gong.

A Tibetan gong is not what you usually hear or see in an operating room, but at St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital the striking of the gong is the first sound to alert the staff to get focused on the procedure they are about to perform. The idea is the brainchild of a couple of nurses who saw a need to improve the time out practice for patient safety.

“When everyone is present you’re supposed to stop and pause and then the recording nurse states the patients name, date of birth, procedure done, and other pertinent information,” registered nurse Delia Geeler told WWJ’s Deanna Lites. “It is not done properly and that is a problem nationwide.”

While some of the staff was initially skeptical, over the year the sound therapy has gained acceptance says registered nurse Erica Brenckle.

“We are very passionate about the idea of having engagement, being mindful, being present and taking care of our patients in the best way possible,” Brenckle said.

They originally considered other sounds like chimes and even a doorbell, but in the end the gong sounded the best.



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