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CMS expects greater scrutiny from Joint Commission surveyors

The start of a new year includes OR Manager’s annual updates on Joint Commission standards—an effort to help OR leaders ensure their facilities are in compliance. With increasingly stringent expectations from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Joint Commission and other accreditation organizations are under pressure to…

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By: OR Manager
December 17, 2019
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Can your hospital survive the growing dominance of ASCs?

Of the approximately 57 million surgical procedures performed annually in the US, it is estimated that hospital inpatient procedures (overnight admissions) account for less than 20% of cases. Many procedures once performed in hospital outpatient surgery departments (HOPDs) have moved to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) over the past 15 years,…

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By: Thomas A. Blasco, MD, MS
January 13, 2020
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OR nurse pipeline expands through clinical immersion program

Most hospital leaders are well aware of the coming wave of nurse retirements. However, few leaders understand that this wave will likely hit the OR even earlier than other departments. According to research from NSI Nursing Solutions, surgical services nurses are on average older than other nursing professionals. Because OR…

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By: OR Manager
January 13, 2020
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Nuts and bolts of new technology acquisition--Part 1

Surgeons often are eager to acquire the newest technology, particularly right after attending a conference with a vendor-packed exhibit hall. How can OR leaders weigh surgeon demands with organizational cost constraints to ensure they meet patient needs while being fiscally responsible? The first step is to acknowledge the complexity of…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
January 13, 2020
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Is your staff ready to manage malignant hyperthermia?

Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a rare but life-threatening surgical complication that seems to turn the effects of general anesthesia upside down. Instead of relaxing, muscles become rigid, releasing large amounts of acid and potassium into the blood. Instead of a normal slowing of breathing, respirations quicken, and end-tidal CO2 rises.…

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By: OR Manager
December 17, 2019
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FCOTS increase through smarter scheduling and surgeon accountability

Starting the first cases of the day on time is key for maintaining the OR schedule. A delay in first case on-time starts (FCOTS) can lead to less OR utilization, greater facility costs, and dissatisfaction among physicians, OR staff, and patients. It’s a problem in many surgical suites, but when…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
January 13, 2020
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Recycling program evolves to sustain gains in waste reduction

Approximately 5.9 million tons of waste annually comes from the healthcare industry, and one-third of that waste comes directly from the OR. Each year, an increasing number of disposable products are used in the OR. To address this dilemma, an OR recycling performance improvement committee was formed at Massachusetts General…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
January 13, 2020
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Daily Tiered Huddles help prioritize and resolve OR problems

When you have a problem, are you empowered to solve it? What happens when staff encounter an obstacle? Cleveland Clinic’s Tiered Huddle process empowers all caregivers to see problems and tackle issues on their own or escalate them for assistance. The tiered huddles have energized teams to work across the…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
November 18, 2019
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Sterilization trumps high-level disinfection for semicritical items

In the never-ending quest to improve patient care, we are always seeking better ways to process medical devices. Many leading experts now recommend transitioning from high-level disinfection (HLD) to sterilization for semicritical items. Semicritical items are instruments or objects that contact mucous membranes or nonintact skin of a patient, but…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, ACE, CIS, FCS
November 18, 2019
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Well-crafted handoff tools save valuable time in OR schedule

In 2017, the Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Alert Event on the problem of inadequate handoff communication, focusing attention on this vital aspect of care. (See related story, p 22.) Clinicians and leaders agree that handoffs are important, but implementing them effectively can be challenging, particularly in the fast-paced perioperative…

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By: OR Manager
December 17, 2019
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