Ambulatory Surgery

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June 2020
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Joint Commission: Preventing nosocomial COVID-19 infections as healthcare organizations resume routine care

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on June 3 announced that it supports the following positions for healthcare organizations to prevent nosocomial COVID-19 infections as they resume routine patient care. Organizations should continue to follow CDC recommendations for universal masking of staff, patients, and visitors. Personnel should wear filtering facepiece (N95)…

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By: Judy Mathias
June 4, 2020
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CDC releases reopening guidelines

Editor's Note The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 20 posted two new resources to help states reopen. The first is a 60-page document that includes information on general and healthcare surveillance and continuing guidance on infection control, contact tracing, and testing. It also includes a standardized…

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By: Judy Mathias
May 21, 2020
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OR leaders chart new territory for resuming elective surgery

Elective surgical procedures that were temporarily suspended in mid-March are now on the table—or soon will be—at some US facilities. The ban, announced on March 18 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), was enacted to free up resources for facilities overwhelmed by surges of COVID-19 patients. On…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
May 12, 2020
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Editorial

Coronavirus cases in the US topped 1 million in late April. Although total numbers of cases and deaths change daily and vary greatly among urban vs rural regions of the country, it’s safe to say we haven’t yet seen the last of the surges. Despite ongoing shortages of personal protective…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
May 12, 2020
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ASCs following new rules for safety during pandemic

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that led the United States to declare a national emergency and implement a ban on all elective diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, as well as elective surgery in inpatient and outpatient settings. On March 19, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) released guidance…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
May 12, 2020
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ASCs advised to embrace EHRs sooner rather than later

Federal regulators have yet to mandate electronic health record (EHR) adoption at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). Many facilities remain content to use paper systems. However, one expert advocates preparing now for what may come in the future. Electronic documentation systems can help ASCs better achieve their clinical, financial, operational, and…

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By: Jennifer Lubell
May 12, 2020
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Implementing safety huddles to improve patient outcomes

The fast-paced environment in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) requires meticulous handoffs, and daily huddles—brief (10 to 20 minute) stand-up meetings—can raise awareness of any potential safety issues. That has been the experience at UnityPoint Health in Des Moines, Iowa, and some of what we learned might help others improve…

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By: OR Manager
May 12, 2020
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Creative thinking shapes COVID-19 response to expected surge

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented strains on hospitals and healthcare systems, leaving many organizations with limited resources to care for severely ill patients. States, regions, hospitals, and health systems have had to reassess their resources, identify bottlenecks, and develop strategies for increasing critical care capacity. Creating the critical care…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
April 23, 2020
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Experts address COVID-19 concerns in AORN town halls

OR nurses are being asked to serve in positions outside the operating room and experiencing changes in their schedules, and they are concerned about the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. To support OR nurses during this time of crisis, AORN has been holding town hall Q&A webinars with infection preventionists,…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
April 23, 2020
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Editorial

The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating, especially for those who have lost loved ones or income due to sudden unemployment. For healthcare workers and emergency services providers, fear of contracting the disease is now a daily part of life. The virus has commanded exclusive coverage in OR a.m. for…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
April 23, 2020
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