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December 2008 See the full issue

A mighty weapon: Steam sterilization

In the war against microbes, one of the mightiest weapons is the steam sterilizer. Steam, considered the ideal sterilant, is recommended for sterilizing devices that are heat and moisture stable. Steam is nontoxic, readily available, and low in cost relative to other technologies. With the exception of prions, the particles…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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Taking steps to protect patients from specimen-handling errors

An OR specimen was transported to the laboratory. The lab called to say there was no specimen in the container. The specimen was a completely excised ovarian mass. A patient had two specimens excised from her breast. The specimens were sent to radiology for x-ray. The lab reported that only…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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New scanners bring high-tech imaging to operating rooms

New high-tech scanners, once seen only in major medical centers, are making their way into more hospitals. The rapid 3-D imaging takes the OR far beyond fluoroscopy. Surgeons say they can improve results and make surgery safer. Before the patient leaves the OR, they can scan the brain to make…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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Keeping it low: Protecting teams from radiation during surgery

With more minimally invasive surgery, the C-arm has become a regular resident in the OR. Surgeons rely on imaging during cases to guide implant placement and other critical aspects of surgery. How much radiation are OR teams being exposed to, and what safety measures should they be taking? Safety pointers…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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O-scanner: Real-time imaging in the OR

Imagine scrubbing in for a spine case without lead aprons. Imagine taking a scan of the spine at the beginning of surgery that gives images so precise further imaging isn't needed during the case. These are advantages of the new O-shaped portable computed tomography (CT) scanners, which provide real-time 3-D…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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OR leaders converge on Washington, DC

In an election year, Washington, DC, is the focal point for leadership, so it's fitting that from Oct 29 to 31, it became a hub for OR nurse leaders from across the US and as far away as New Zealand. Nearly 800 OR managers and directors attended the 21st annual…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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Minnesota's retained object protocol

A work group of Minnesota hospitals and health systems has developed a step-by-step protocol for preventing retained foreign objects. The protocol includes a detailed flow sheet with recommendations for each step. Processes are spelled out for performing and recording counts and taking x-rays, among other things. The protocol is based…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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Tough times force look at supply costs

Health care facilities like other businesses face tough economic headwinds. Tightening credit, plummeting investment values, and the prospect of less philanthropic giving make for a difficult financial climate. There's also likely to be more uncompensated care as unemployment rises, and state Medicaid programs cut back. OR directors and business managers,…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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Intraop MRI in a community hospital

Sacred Heart Hospital's new MRI-equipped OR. Stainless steel doors enable the scanner also to be used for diagnostics. Sophisticated intraoperative imaging suites, with their special facility needs and high cost, are usually found in academic medical centers. But a community hospital in Wisconsin has installed an intraoperative MRI and is…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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Managing an endomechanical conversion

OR managers making a major conversion such as an endomechanical or a suture manufacturer change, face as much pressure as an Olympic athlete. Setting up for a successful conversion begins with understanding a simple equation. "You have to look at 2 components when doing conversions—logistics, or the supply chain side,…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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ASC payment plan updated for 2009

Estimated ASC payment change by specialty Percent change from 2008 rates at blended rate. Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare issued its final 2009 policies and payment rates for ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) Oct 30, 2008. The changes issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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Medicare issues long-awaited ASC CfCs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the long-awaited final revision of the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) conditions for coverage (CfCs) on Oct 30, 2008. The CfCs spell out the rules for ASCs participating in Medicare. They were issued as part of a larger rule that includes updates…

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By: OR Manager
December 1, 2008
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