Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Did Skin Prep Fuel This Fire? - February 2017 - 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 18 of 146

ed percutaneous injuries. We started to see dramatic improvements in sharps handling prac- tices after presenting those stats at monthly physician-led committees and staff meetings. The constant sharing of statistics and clinical data about the incidences and risks of exposure will hammer home the importance of sharps safety. Show new surgeons, nurses and techs the same information before they step foot in your ORs. Make your facility's culture of safety crystal clear before they pick up a sharp for the first time. Neutral zone passing The surgical team should verbally agree during the pre-op briefing whether a case will involve hand-to-hand passing or use of a hands-free neutral zone. Whenever possible, you should use a neutral zone. Your team should designate and announce the area where sharps will be placed for surgeons or techs to pick up. Using a towel on the corner of a Mayo stand works, and is definitely better than using no neutral zone at all, but we've found that commercially available products such as bright- ly colored magnetic basins and rubber pads work best for several rea- sons. They offer a visual cue of where the neutral zone is located, they're more stable (Mayo stands can get bumped during cases) and they keep sharps in place once they're laid on the surfaces. Only permit hand-to-hand passing of sharps during cases or instances when the surgeon cannot avert his eyes from the surgical field, such as during ophthalmic surgery or the suturing of delicate vessels. If the sur- geon needs to switch from neutral zone passing to hand-to-hand pass- ing mid-procedure, he must announce the transition to the entire surgi- cal team to put everyone in the room on high alert and increase the awareness of whoever is making the sharps exchange. For safety's sake, place the sharp in a surgeon's hand in a way that makes ergonom- 2 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 1 9

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