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Obamacare, You're Fired - December 2016 - 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 56 of 132

From pre-op to post-op, the head cover has helped keep her patients warmer, says Dr. Bazzell, adding, "The nurses in OR like it. The patients sometimes at first think it's kind of strange. But when we put that on and pre-warm them with the cotton blankets and forced-air, it's a rare occasion when I have to do something in addition to keep them warm. And keeping somebody in the recovery room for less time becomes very cost-effective because we're a small surgery cen- ter." Blanket solution Everybody loves a warm blanket. From naps on a cozy couch on a winter afternoon to an effective and comforting warmer for surgical patients, you can't really go wrong. But Ms. Kirchner found cotton blankets were making her uncomfortable. In that, for one, they were getting costly as patient warmers for her facility. "For us to reprocess our blankets was $5 a blanket, because it's done by weight," says Ms. Kirchner. "Cost definitely came into it. We were wasting a lot of money and not accomplishing what we set out to do." So last summer, she made a change to a conductive polymer fabric warming device, which warms the patient from above and below simultaneously. "I think it keeps them warmer and there's less poten- tial of contaminating a wound or patient," says Ms. Kirchner. "We look a lot at comorbidities, like a frail elderly person, and even if they're in for cataract surgery, we use the polymer fabric because they recover faster and go home faster." Her facility, which performs procedures for total joints in addition to robotic, spine and GYN cases, warms patients who undergo a surgery lasting an hour or more. It's a half-hour threshold for all children or anyone with comorbidities. Ms. Kirchner's facility still uses cotton blankets pre-warmed with a blanket warmer, just not as often as D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 5 7

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