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Heather Boyle a certified surgical technician, left, and Jean Larson, a nurse, display the "Time Out" poster and orange towel promoting safe surgical practices at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

Procedures help providers avoid wrong-site surgery


WILLMAR -- Before any of the surgery teams at Rice Memorial Hospital or the Willmar Surgery Center make the first incision, there's a final stop as they go down the checklist: Correct patient. Correct procedure. Correct body site.

Then, and only then, is the orange "time-out towel" (or, at the surgery center, an orange tent-like cover) removed from the instrument tray so that the surgeon can pick up the scalpel.

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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