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May 2007 See the full issue

Surgeon leads effort for safer surgery

If you look behind some of the major studies on patient safety in surgery, you'll find a common name—Atul Gawande, MD, MPH. He led the well-known 2003 study documenting the incidence of retained items in surgery. He's just finished a clinical study of a bar code technology to aid sponge…

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By: Pat Patterson
May 1, 2007
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Restrict cell phone use, at least near devices, ECRI recommends

Lifting cell phone restrictions isn't a good idea, especially in device-intensive areas like the OR and critical care units, advises ECRI, a nonprofit organization that researches health care technology. "We're still recommending avoiding use of cell phones if possible except in the lobby of the hospital or in areas that…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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Resonant leaders' focus on strength, help foster hope and compassion

There is a difference between management and leadership, and the difference can be profound in team-based areas like OR suites, says Annie McKee. "People often have more opportunities to lead one another than we think they do. "If we build a team with resonant leadership, it's going to be more…

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By: Kate McGraw
May 1, 2007
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A quest for a perfect OR inventory

Top: Steve Stout, OR business manager, and his staff reorganized the $1.5 million inventory of orthopedic plates and screws. Bottom: Have-available bins provide for just-in-case supplies. Aperfect OR inventory—that's the goal of the OR business management staff at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo. They've come a long way.…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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Index identifies outpatients at risk for hospital admission

Researchers have developed a scoring system they say can help identify patients at risk for admission after outpatient surgery: Outpatient surgery admission index Assign 1 point each for: being 65 years or older an OR time >120 min cardiac diagnoses peripheral vascular disease cerebrovascular disease malignancy HIV-positive status using regional…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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Can OR inventory be like a grocery store?

When Dave Zimba wanted to improve the supply chain for Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System, he started by going to the grocery store. He observed what happened when he bought a can of tomatoes: The clerk scans the box, and the scanner captures the purchase. Software adjusts the inventory…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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Data on implant costs wins MD support

When 2 of its hospitals came close to shutting down their total joint replacement programs because of rising costs, a Midwestern health care system knew it needed to take a new approach to orthopedic implant purchasing. The system tried demand matching several years ago, but the project felt flat. In…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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Hospital policies vary widely on disclosure of MD conflicts

Hospitals vary widely in their policies on physician disclosure of financial interests. Many hospitals still do not have a policy. Some have policies that are quite specific, expecting physicians to check off the types of ties they may have. Academic medical centers are the most likely to have policies because…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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Kids at highest risk of periop med errors

Children are at the highest risk of harmful drug errors during perioperative care-nearly 12% of pediatric errors were harmful, compared with 5% overall. In most cases, the harm was temporary. But 4 patients died, in-cluding 1 child, according to an analysis of 11,000 perioperative med errors. The 7-year study was…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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New weight limit for instrument sets

Anew standard for the first time sets a weight limit of 25 pounds for rigid sterilization containers and their contents. In recent years, orthopedic and neurosurgery loaner sets, in particular, have gotten bigger and heavier, causing strain for the staff. There are also concerns about whether these big sets can…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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What can grocery stores teach about managing OR inventory?

When you go to the grocery store and buy Wheaties, the clerk scans the box. The scanner captures the purchase. Software adjusts the inventory and tells the store when it's time to reorder and restock The vendor makes sure boxes get back on the shelf. Supply chain articles Can OR…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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Should physicians be expected to disclose conflicts of interest?

Should physicians who request products be required to disclose any financial interests they have with the company that makes the product? Experts say yes. But it's a hot issue, and many hospitals haven't yet taken that step. Scrutiny by the government and press is fueling the call for disclosure. In…

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By: Pat Patterson
May 1, 2007
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Seven steps to a stronger supply chain

With supplies and staffing being an ambulatory surgery center's 2 major costs, no ASC can afford to be without a good strategy for managing its inventory and supply costs. Strong partnerships, teamwork with physicians, a relentless focus on cost management, and smart use of technology are some of the ways…

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By: OR Manager
May 1, 2007
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Is your ASC leaving money on the table?

Second in a series of articles on improving revenue. Being paid the right amount for your services starts before a procedure is even performed. Scheduling, insurance verification, and precertification are all crucial to making sure your ambulatory surgery center (ASC) receives the proper reimbursement. Your surgery scheduler and insurance verification…

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By: Stephanie Ellis, RN, CPC
May 1, 2007
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