Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

The Trauma Time-Out

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Protocol-Based Information Dissemination in the Traumatically Injured Patient

Nolan, Heather R. MD; Fitzgerald, Michael MD; Howard, Brett MD; Jarrard, Joey MD; Vaughn, Danny MD

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000286

Procedural time-outs are widely accepted safety standards that are protocolized in nearly all hospital systems. The trauma time-out, however, has been largely unstudied in the existing literature and does not have a standard protocol outlined by any of the major trauma surgery organizations. The goal of this study was to evaluate our institution's use of the trauma time-out and assess how trauma team members viewed its effectiveness. A multiple-answer survey was sent to trauma team members at a Level I trauma center. Questions included items directed at background, experience, opinions, and write-in responses. Most responders were experienced trauma team members who regularly participated in trauma codes. All respondents noted the total time required to complete the time-out was less than 5 min, with the majority saying it took less than 1 min. Seventy-five percent agreed that trauma time-outs should continue, with 92% noting that it improved understanding of patient presentation and prehospital evaluation. Seventy-seven percent said it improved understanding of other team member's roles, and 75% stated it improved patient care. Subgroups of physicians and nurses were statistically similar; yet, physicians did note that it improved their understanding of the team member's function more frequently than nurses. The trauma time-out can be an excellent tool to improve patient care and team understanding of the incoming trauma patient. Although used widely at multiple levels of trauma institutions, development of a documented protocol can be the next step in creating a unified safety standard.

Mercer University School of Medicine/The Medical Center Navicent Health, Macon, Georgia.

Correspondence: Heather R. Nolan, MD, Mercer University School of Medicine/The Medical Center Navicent Health, MSC#140 777 Hemlock St, Macon, GA 31201 (

Author Contributions: Conceiving and designing the work: Nolan, Fitzgerald, Howard, Jarrard, Vaughn. Analyzing and interpreting the data: Nolan, Howard. Collecting data or other material: Nolan. Writing the manuscript or part of the manuscript: Nolan. Revising the manuscript to make important changes in content: Nolan, Fitzgerald, Howard, Jarrard, Vaughn. Approving the final version of the manuscript: Nolan, Fitzgerald, Howard, Jarrard, Vaughn.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.