Delivering a Healthy WA
Safety and Quality in Healthcare
Advancing patient-centered, safe and high quality health care for all West Australians

Correct patient, correct procedure, correct site

Policy

Why a correct patient, correct procedure, correct site policy?

Between October 2003 and June 2005, 11 sentinel events involving procedures on the wrong patient or wrong body part were reported to the WA Department of Health. Four sentinel events involving procedures on the wrong patient or wrong body part were reported to the WA Department of Health between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006.1

Procedures performed on the wrong body part, wrong side of the body or wrong patient are preventable.

In November 2006, the Department of Health implemented the Correct Patient, Correct Procedure, Correct Site Policy and Guidelines for WA Health Services.2

What is correct patient, correct procedure, correct site?

Correct patient, correct procedure, correct site refers to members of a clinical team completing a five-step verification process before commencing treatment on a patient.

  1. The health practitioner must obtain a patient’s agreement before commencing treatment. See consent to treatment for more information.
  2. Members of the clinical team may check the patient’s identification on a number of occasions. The patient must state their identity details and the medical team must check the patient’s responses against the patient’s identification band, consent form and other information provided in the patient’s medical record.
  3. The person performing the surgery or invasive procedure should mark the site of the procedure.
  4. Once the patient is in the operating theatre, all clinical team members should independently verify the presence of the correct patient, correct type of procedure, correct site marked and presence of specialised equipment.
  5. Clinicians are responsible to ensure that the correct and appropriate documents and diagnostic images are available, and that documents are properly labelled and properly presented.

Resources

Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care publications


1 Department of Health. WA Sentinel Event Report October 2003 – June 2005. Government of Western Australia

2 Department of Health. Delivering Safer Health Care in Western Australia The Second WA Sentinel Even t Report 2005-2006. Government of Western Australia


File Formats

Some documents for download on this website are in a Portable Document Format (PDF). To read these files you might need to download Adobe® Acrobat Reader.

Get Adobe® Reader