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The Joint Commission's safety alert supports removal of surgical smoke

Surgical smoke is a complex issue that has not gained a lot of traction over the years. Legislation to mandate smoke evacuation was introduced more than 20 years ago, but the first law wasn’t passed until 2018, and only three US states thus far have enacted legislation. Release of The…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
April 19, 2021
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First assistants bring expertise and efficiency to the OR table--Part 1

Non-physician surgical first assistants (FAs) perform a variety of tasks—everything from closing an incision and inserting drains to harvesting veins for bypass procedures and preparing anterior cruciate ligament grafts. A significant benefit of FAs is shorter case times, which may help reduce patient morbidity and mortality and increase case volumes.…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
April 19, 2021
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Editorial

The increasing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, along with proposed healthcare industry funding from the federal government, are reasons to feel hopeful about recovering from the pandemic. For people who are fully vaccinated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has green-lighted gathering with loved ones and resuming some activities that…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 19, 2021
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Conference keynote points the way to a purposeful life

Personal health and well-being have become higher priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people who previously may have ignored preventive care or postponed procedures are taking better care of themselves. Some are reexamining life choices as a result of changes taking place over the past year. “Many of us accept…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 19, 2021
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Studies assess use of Mako System in joint arthroplasty

Editor’s Note. This article presents value-based analyses on the use of Mako robotic technology in total knee, partial knee, and total hip arthroplasty. The authors are with Stryker Orthopaedics in Mahwah, New Jersey.   Joint arthroplasty is an effective procedure to treat advanced osteoarthritis of the hips and knees. It…

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By: Kevin Barga, MS, RN and Andrea Coppolecchia, MPH
April 19, 2021
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Collaborative anesthesia providers can help boost OR performance

Most high-performing ORs share something in common—an anesthesia group that is actively engaged in perioperative leadership, takes responsibility for organizational performance, and is fully invested in the success of the OR. Unfortunately, in many ORs, anesthesia providers focus narrowly on services and procedures, not the total performance of the surgery…

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By: Lee Hedman and Josh Miller, MD
April 19, 2021
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Strengthening ASC education programs in the age of COVID-19

Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) tend to operate in lean environments, a factor that can impact training and education, whether it’s a refresher for current employees or part of the onboarding process for new hires. Maintaining robust education programs during a global pandemic that has reduced in-person training and imposed restrictions…

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By: Jennifer Lubell
April 19, 2021
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