(Reaffirmed, November 2009)
As the spokesorganization for all practitioners of the specialty of neurosurgery,
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is dedicated to advancing
the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality
of care to our patients. Patient safety and outcomes are very high priorities
of the AANS, and as such, the AANS endorses the Joint Commission’s Universal
The Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong
Person Surgery offers clear, concise solutions to help physicians and allied
health professionals eliminate preventable surgical errors. In effect for just
over a year, this protocol should help decrease the number of wrong site surgery
cases, but only if there is compliance with the guidelines as written. This
will inevitably lead to a safer environment for patients and overall improved
patient satisfaction and outcomes.
It is essential that all health care providers follow the guidelines 100
percent of the time for every patient undergoing any surgical procedure. However,
the protocol should allow for implementation with appropriate adaptation to
address the specifics involved for each patient on a case-by-case basis.
Providing and delivering the highest possible patient safety standards is
an integral component of reforming the nation’s healthcare system.
Fremont P. Wirth, MD