The latest news on developing clinical programs and initiatives of
Rutgers Health at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
March 9, 2020
To Err Is Human
Time Out to Prevent Mistakes
Time Out
We know medical errors are a significant cause of patient harm every year. We also know that many of those errors are due to communication failure. We commit to decreasing patient harm when we pause before a procedure to make sure a mistake is not being made.

The Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goals for 2020 include a focus on preventing mistakes during procedures. One such method is using a Time Out.
Our policy states, "Rutgers Health ambulatory clinics that perform invasive or operative procedures will demonstrate commitment to patient safety through identification of correct patient, correct site, and correct procedure prior to initiating any invasive or operative procedure."

"Time Out" -- a final verification when all activity stops to confirm the correct patient, correct procedure, and correct site. Patient, procedure and site are confirmed through active (verbal) communication and involve the patient, guardian and/or family when possible.
enter to win graphic
Ready for a little friendly competition?
The first four people to email Mindy Rodden, director of quality, safety and patient experience, at with the correct answers to the two questions below will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card.

  1. When does the Time Out get documented in the EMR?
  2. What is the name of the policy that refers to the Time Out process?
coronavirus covid19 header
The number of positive cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey has risen to 11, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the further spread of the COVID-19 virus in the United States likely.

To keep our community safe, the medical school, Rutgers University and RWJBarnabas Health continue to monitor COVID-19 and its potential impact on the state and our university community.

The information below is based on the latest guidance from the CDC and the NJ Department of Public Health, which continues to evolve.
Current facts from the CDC:

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear between two and 14 days after exposure. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection and there are no specific medications to treat COVID-19. Treatment is supportive care.
  • Much is unknown about how COVID-19 spreads. Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in humans and many other species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats and bats.
  • Most often, person-to-person spread occurs among close contact (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is currently unclear if the illness can be transmitted from person to person when asymptomatic. It is also unclear if a person can get the virus when touching a surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Be sure to frequently wash hands for 20 seconds and keep hands away from your face to prevent infection. Teach children how to properly wash their hands.
  • Stay home from work and school when sick. 
  • Avoid all non-essential travel to countries where the virus has already spread. The recommendations for travel change frequently. See the CDC map with recommendations for travel restrictions.  

The medical school will continue to monitor and prepare our ambulatory protocols, facilities, faculty and staff to respond to this emerging and evolving viral illness. Thank you for your assistance with all processes and procedures to maintain a safe environment for our faculty, staff and patients. 

For more information,  read  the CDC Guidelines for HealthCare Professionals, a  message  from Rutgers University President Robert Barchi, MD, PhD, and a  message  from Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs  Vincent Gracias, MD , and   Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom, MD, MPH. In addition, Rutgers University's COVID-19 Task Force has developed a website, which will be updated regularly, containing important news, guidance and actions you can take related to COVID-19; you can access it here.
How do you want your colleagues or patients to describe you?
Take a moment to consider three words that represent how you would like people to describe you, and then think a bit about how, each day, you act out those traits. How can you best ensure every day that you are living up to the characteristics that are most important to you?

The staff at our Family Medicine at Monument Square location conducted this exercise, writing down a few words they wanted people to associate with them. The following word cloud shows the wonderful terms they used!
Our words matter, to our patients and each other. They help to keep everyone safe. And maybe, they can help us to be caring, dedicated team players with each other too.
Join us for a complimentary breakfast, along with a review of AIDET skills and a focus on empathy. How would you complete the exercise above? What qualities would you like your patients and co-workers to emphasize when describing you to others?

Friday, March 13
9 - 10 a.m.
Clinical Academic Building, Room 3404

Please RSVP to Deb Charity,
Mark Your Calendars!
TJC Prep Rally header
Thursday, March 19, 2020
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Clinical Academic Building, Room 1302
125 Paterson Street, New Brunswick

***Complimentary lunch will be provided.***

RU Ready for TJC?
Dept. of Communications & Public Affairs | Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
317 George Street, Suite 215, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
732-235-6307 | fax 732-235-9570

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey