Teams & Team Building

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May 2019
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Imagining the unimaginable: Preparing for mass casualty

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Joint Commission require healthcare facilities to have policies and protocols in place for emergency situations and to hold regular practice drills. With natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, or fires, often there is at least some warning—some amount of time to…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 22, 2019
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Expect the unexpected: How we recovered operations after Hurricane Harvey

Whatever your facility’s disaster management plan, it needs continual refinement to account for the differences between imagined and real scenarios. Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston hard on Saturday, August 26, 2017, is a case in point. The storm brought more than 60 inches of rain within a couple of days,…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 22, 2019
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Cross-training staff solves competency and engagement puzzle

High labor costs, surgeon dissatisfaction, high staff turnover, and low staff competency are problems that dog many OR leaders at some point in their careers. When managers at the Stanford University Medical Center Main OR in Stanford, California, found themselves facing all of these problems at once, they knew something…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
April 22, 2019
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New technology and workflow lead to surgical volume growth

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System (SMH) in Sarasota, Florida, is a Level 2 trauma center with 839 beds and more than 900 physicians. The 430 members of the surgical staff perform more than 24,300 inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures in the 34 operating suites each year. With this level of…

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By: OR Manager
April 22, 2019
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Hospital safety culture linked to surgical patient outcomes

Editor's Note A hospital’s safety culture may influence certain surgical patient outcomes, finds this study. A Safety Attitudes Questionnaire (SAQ), sent to administrators, quality improvement teams, nurses, anesthesiologists, and surgeons in 49 hospitals participating in the Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative, found that OR safety culture had the highest scores…

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By: Judy Mathias
April 3, 2019
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'Coming clean' in the SPD requires collaboration and competency--Part 1

Contaminated surgical instruments made ECRI Institute’s 2019 annual top 10 list of health technology hazards, coming in at number five: “Mishandling flexible endoscopes after disinfection can lead to patient infections.” Number two on the list in 2018 was “Endoscope reprocessing failures continue to expose patients to infection risk.” It’s not…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
March 15, 2019
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Prioritizing patient safety unites and empowers OR team--Part 2

Several never events at The Medical Center of Aurora (TMCA) in Aurora, Colorado, over a 1-year period prompted leaders there to launch patient safety first (PSF) initiatives. Part 1 of this series discussed how these initiatives were identified and implemented, and the importance of evidence-based communication tools (OR Manager, March…

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By: Iris Llewellyn
March 15, 2019
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Failure to debrief after anesthesia critical events tied to communication breakdowns

Editor's Note Failure to debrief after critical events is common in anesthesia trainees and teams, and communication breakdowns are associated with the failure to debrief, this study finds. Over a 1-year period at a large academic medical center, anesthesiology residents and some attending anesthesiologists were audited and/or interviewed about the…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 7, 2019
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Intraoperative positioning education fills knowledge void in care unit nurses

Can experience in the OR improve patient care in the postsurgical inpatient setting? Beginning last year, the OR at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, started its first Periop 101 program and trained six nurses from postsurgical care units to be perioperative nurses. During the program, the former care unit nurses found…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
October 18, 2018
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‘Managing up’ strengthens the bond with your boss

What kind of relationship do you have with your boss? Many managers feel they don’t have enough support from their supervisors, and still others believe the relationship could be better. In the 2018 OR Manager Salary/Career Survey, for example, about a third of respondents had a neutral or unfavorable view…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
October 18, 2018
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