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July 2011 See the full issue

Is your OR as clean as it could be? Evidence shows more is needed

Every OR has policies and procedures for environmental cleaning. But how do you know surfaces are truly free of pathogens that could transmit infection? The stakes are high. Environmental contamination plays a role in the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile, among others. Evidence…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Surgery by flashlight as Joplin team operates through tornado

It started out as a typical Sunday morning on call—a 7:30 am C section, home for a nap, then a call-back at 3 pm for orthopedic cases. But that Sunday, May 22, 2011, turned out to be anything but typical for Staci Perry, a surgical technologist at St John's Regional…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, RN, MA
July 1, 2011
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Editorial

What if in the future nurses and physicians sat down in the same anatomy classes? What if schools offered more joint learning opportunities? That could go a long way toward building the closer collaboration needed to advance the culture of safety. Nurses and physicians learning together could advance safety by…

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By: Pat Patterson
July 1, 2011
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Laryngospasms to sing at conference

Working in the OR can be intense and stressful. Music and humor are proven antidotes. A group of nurse anesthetists discovered that when they sang "Breakin' Up is Hard to Do" at a Christmas party at the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia in 1990. One of the students came up and…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Is it clean? An objective way to check

Observation can sometimes give you an idea about how well the staff is complying with OR cleaning protocols, but it can't tell you about organic residues that might remain on surfaces. Bacterial cultures of the OR environment can also have drawbacks. To evaluate the effectiveness of its cleaning, a Connecticut…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Meaningful use: What it means for ORs

Meaningful use is a much-used term in the push for electronic health records (EHRs). Eligible hospitals, critical access hospitals, and physicians can earn federal incentives for adopting and demonstrating "meaningful use" of certified EHR technology (sidebar). Your hospital's meaningful use discussions may be taking place away from the OR. But…

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By: Pat Patterson
July 1, 2011
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A report card on OR info systems

A new report card on surgery information systems is out, the first in 3 years. The report from KLAS Enterprises reviews the 8 top surgery software systems. KLAS is an independent firm that compiles user ratings of health care software. The new report, titled Surgery Management 2010: In Pursuit of…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Nurse-led protocol reduces catheter use, urinary infections

A nurse-driven urinary catheter-removal protocol helped reduce catheter use by 32% and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) by 45% per 1,000 patient days over 18 months at one hospital. The finding was different in the hospital's ICUs, however, which report data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). In the…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Winning against SSI read missions

The new federal Partnership for Patients, rolled out in April 2011, seeks to save 60,000 lives over the next 3 years by stopping millions of preventable complications and injuries. Part of the goal is reducing hospital readmissions by 20% by the end of 2013 over 2010 levels. Surgical site infections…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, RN, MA
July 1, 2011
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Closing the research-practice gap

New clinical evidence can take a long time to find its way into practice. How to accelerate that process is the subject of a new project by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). Project JOINTS, rolled out in 5 states in April 2011, focuses on accelerating adoption of evidence-based practices…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Updated AORN RPs for laser safety

Updated AORN recommendations on laser safety cover safe practices wherever lasers are used in the health care facility. The recommendations reflect the new ANSI Z136.3 Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care Facilities standard, expected shortly from the Laser Institute of America. AORN's revised "Recommended practices for laser safety in…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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AAMI offers benchmarking on sterile reprocessing

A new benchmarking tool from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) will help sterile processing departments measure their performance with others across the country. Using the online tool, available by subscription, managers can fill out a survey of more than 130 benchmarking measures on topics such as…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Pain is a growing business for ASCs

The technology of pain relief is improving constantly, and ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) are finding that staying abreast of this growing specialty serves patients as well as their bottom line. For the increasingly complex orthopedic procedures that are migrating to the outpatient setting, pain management is a critical element. Sufferers…

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By: Paula DeJohn
July 1, 2011
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Benchmarking facility times for pain

Pain management procedures have exploded in ambulatory settings, just as GI endoscopy and cataract surgery did previously. More than 1.5 million low-back injections for the treatment of pain or mobility problems are conducted each year, and that number is expected to rise as the population ages. Injections for low back…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, RN, MA
July 1, 2011
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New bill would fix ASC payments

A new bill introduced in the US Congress June 3, 2011, if passed, would place ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) on what the ASC industry says is a more equal footing with hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) in their Medicare payment updates. ASCs currently are reimbursed at 56% of the amount paid…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Updated guideline on CI scope reprocessing

The Multisociety Guideline on Reprocessing Flexible GI Endoscopes has been updated from its original 2003 edition. Among changes: added details on critical reprocessing steps, including cleaning and drying reprocessing issues for scope attachments, such as flushing catheters. There is also discussion of issues that have incomplete data to guide practice,…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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FDA approves new drug to treat C diff

The Food and Drug Administration in May 2011 approved the first new drug in 25 years to treat diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile, a pathogen that one study suggests may have surpassed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as the leading hospital-acquired infection, according to the New York Times. In clinical trials, fidaxomicin…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Dangerous bugs on patient, visitor cell phones

Compared with cell phones of hospital staff, those brought into a facility by patients and visitors are twice as likely to carry dangerous, multidrug-resistant pathogens, finds a new study in the American Journal of Infection Control. Turkish researchers analyzed samples from 200 mobile phones—67 belonging to staff and 133 to…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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Anesthesia systems catching on as liability concerns start to ease

Anesthesia information management systems (AIMS) have been slow to catch on, but the pace is accelerating. More than one-fourth (26%) of organizations with OR information systems now have an AIMS, up from 6% in 2007. And 63% of those that currently have only an OR system plan to purchase an…

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By: OR Manager
July 1, 2011
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