Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Awards - September 2018 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 82 of 126

places them on a table in the corner of the room. They then re-drape the patient and re-gown and re-glove themselves before opening a new set of sterile closing instruments. The extra precautions decrease the likelihood of contaminating the surgical wound with bacteria after it's been flushed with saline in preparation for closing. • Wound protection. Surgeons apply a wound protector around the surgical site. The device, which is available in a number of sizes, main- tains moisture at the incision site to promote healing and shields the wound from exposure to bacteria. • Gum chewing. Patients are encouraged to bring packs of their favorite gum on the day of surgery because chewing gum after abdominal surgery helps kickstart the digestive system, which increases blood flow to the intestines and throughout the rest of the body. Ms. Burwell says there's no direct link between gum chewing and reduced risk of SSIs, but she points out that increasing blood flow does speed recovery and promote wound healing. Total team effort Ms. Burwell assigned elements of the care bundle care to individual nurses, who were in charge of educating their colleagues about the importance of, for example, extending CHG wipes beyond the surgi- cal site and putting on new personal protection equipment before wound closing. The nurses must also audit the staff's performance and document each practice to ensure the elements are implemented properly and consistently. That standardized documenting process lets leadership track real-time compliance with the overall infection prevention program and intervene if the staff's performance begins to drift long before minor issues become major oversights. The hospital's success in reducing SSI rates primarily protects S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 8 3

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