On June 20, the ASAPS marked its annual “National Time Out Day.” On this day, which was established by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in 2004, physicians take a “time out” to offer some suggestions to patients to help prevent wrong-site surgery and other aesthetic surgical errors.

In the operating room, the time out is when the surgical team confirms the patient’s identity, the correct surgical site, and the procedure being performed to help make the surgery as safe as possible.

For ASAPS, honoring Time Out Day is part of the society’s campaign for patient safety. Physicians also encourage patients to take “time out” to:

• check board certification;

• check facility accreditation;

• have a thorough informed consent;

• get marked up; and

• check on follow-up care.

[ASAPS, June 21, 2007]