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Cooperstown, NY – Bassett Healthcare Network announced today that the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), representing more than 200,000 surgical nurses across the country, has named Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York, a Center of Excellence in Surgical Safety.

Bassett Medical Center is among the first facilities in the United States to earn the designation as a Center of Excellence in Surgical Safety: Prevention of RSI. The award signifies Bassett Medical Center has adopted new practices in its continued safe care of surgical patients after successfully completing the months-long comprehensive, evidence-based program.

Staci Thompson, MHA, FACMPE, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

“The importance of ongoing, evidence-based education for Bassett’s surgical teams cannot be overstated. Continually enhancing our skills and practices is an essential element of our responsibility to our patients,” said Staci Thompson, MHA, FACMPE, Bassett Healthcare Network Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are honored to be recognized by AORN.”

Angela Belmont, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President, Chief Nurse Executive

“We are very proud of our surgical team at Bassett Medical Center for obtaining this award. It demonstrates the dedication of the team to reduce risks in the operating room,” said Dr. Angela Belmont, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Bassett Healthcare Network’s Senior Vice President, Chief Nurse Executive. “This is a testament to Bassett’s commitment to the highest level of patient safety. Congratulations and thank you for all that you do every day to make a difference!”

With this designation AORN recognizes Bassett Medical Center for its commitment to reducing the risk of surgical errors by advancing the education of its surgical team members in the prevention and consequences of unintentionally retained surgical items, or RSIs. This evidence-based education raises awareness of factors that lead to RSIs, uses scenario-based immersive technology to improve skills, and helps teams mitigate risks and improve outcomes.

Unintentionally retained surgical items refer to any surgical sponge, instrument, tool, or device that is unintentionally left in a patient at the completion of a surgery or other procedure. For years, RSIs have been identified as the most common sentinel event in surgical or invasive procedures by The Joint Commission, the standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare.

“As surgical procedures continue to advance and medical research reveals new methods to improve surgical patient safety practices, it is imperative that facilities and practitioners adapt their practice in the interest of patient safety,” said AORN’s Executive Director/CEO Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN.

“This Center of Excellence for Surgical Safety designation shows the community that they can depend on the quality of care provided at Bassett Medical Center.”

About Bassett Healthcare Network

Bassett Healthcare Network is an integrated health system that provides care and services to people living in a 5,600 square mile region in central New York. The organization includes five corporately affiliated hospitals, over two dozen community-based health centers, more than 20 school-based health centers, two skilled nursing facilities, and other health partners in related fields. To learn more about services available throughout the Bassett Healthcare Network, visit www.bassett.org. Follow Bassett on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Bassett Healthcare Network is an equal opportunity provider and employer.