Home Issues OR Manager [March, 2007]

Spinal fusion under the microscope

Lumbar fusion has grown rapidly, skyrocketing by more than 250% in the past 20 years. Costs have risen even faster, by more than 500% in Medicare patients alone, according to a recent study from Dartmouth. Lumbar fusion accounts for almost 50% of all back surgery performed in the US. Now…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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Assessing patient risks from sleep apnea

An alarming 80% of patients with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are undiagnosed and untreated before surgery. OSA occurs when the soft tissue in the back of the throat narrows and repeatedly closes during sleep. The brain responds by waking the person up, and breathing resumes. Those with…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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Six practices of the lean operating room

Lean thinking provides a way to do more with less—less human effort, equipment, time, and space—while coming closer to providing customers with exactly what they want, according to James Womack and Daniel Jones, authors of the classic Lean Thinking. Here's a look at lean practices for the OR from consultant…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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Preop briefings gain momentum as a strategy for patient safety

Momentum is gathering to extend preoperative briefings. OR teams already must pause before the incision to verify the surgical site. Now some experts would like to see these briefings expanded to include other critical aspects of the procedure. A new study from Johns Hopkins Medicine published in February found OR…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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Practicing 'wasteology' in the OR

An academic medical center is practicing "wasteology" to pare time, expense, and hassle from its OR processes. Using lean thinking, the center is streamlining its operations to get more cases done and improve service to patients, physicians, and staff. The University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) in Seattle has applied…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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Lean thinking: Eliminating waste and adding value to OR processes

An orthopedic surgeon has to make a 1,000-ft round trip between cases to get the kind of OR cap he likes. A circulating nurse leaves the room 4 times during a case to get needed items. A hospital performing 500 basic surgical procedures has 9,000 preference cards. Lean thinking articles…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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Are you up to speed on flash sterilization?

Flash sterilization is a fact of life in operating rooms—an item is dropped during a case, a surgeon brings a special instrument that needs to be sterilized, and so on. Professional organizations recommend keeping flash sterilization to a minimum. If it must be done, it must be done properly. The…

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By: Nancy Chobin, RN,
March 1, 2007
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Bill would license CS techs

Abill in New York State would amend the state's education law to license central service (CS) technicians. If the bill becomes law, only a person licensed or exempt from licensure would be able to perform CS services or use the title Central Service Technician. Requirements for licensure would include: meeting…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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Getting patients home quickly—and safely

Time is valuable in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs). Patients need to be moved through the facility as quickly-and safely-as possible. How can you balance time with safety to achieve success in your ASC? Simply be sure your policies and procedures reflect evidence-based practice guidelines for addressing common factors that contribute…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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5S: A lean method to cut the clutter

Want to get started on lean thinking? There's a method you can apply called 5S. 5S is about cleaning up and organizing work areas. The idea is to create a "visual workplace" that is uncluttered, helping to put an end to the searching, delays, and stress caused when you can't…

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By: OR Manager
March 1, 2007
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