Outpatient Surgery Magazine

No Guarantees - March 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 49 of 138

Hospital in Southport, N.C. She learned this lesson the hard way while working at her last job, as a circulating nurse with a different medical center in North Carolina. "We were doing a good job of warming patients post-operatively, but by then we were playing catch-up," she says. "We had a number of patients in PACU that were cold. After evaluating what was going on, we found out not enough people [on staff] knew about the dangers of perioperative hypothermia." The hospital was using forced-air warming blankets intra-operative- ly as its primary mode of maintaining normothermia, but it wasn't quite enough. Ms. York says more than 90% of the facility's patients were "adequately warm" when they arrived in PACU, but the remain- ing patients were hypothermic. So she did something about it. Her "project," as she calls it, was to revamp the hospital's culture. She began with a thorough evaluation of current perioperative processes, followed by educational outreach to all perioperative serv- ices personnel and follow-ups to ensure staff compliance. In other words, managing hypothermia earlier into the process became a team mission. The result: normothermia in 100% of patients. Solving problems How did they get there? The turnaround started in pre-admissions, where staffers were asked to educate patients about the risks associ- ated with hypothermia and the need for active warming. But, as Ms. York remembers it, "the bulk of the problems" were in pre-op. In the course of the process review, Ms. York learned that mem- bers of the housekeeping staff would turn down the temperatures in each room when they came in to clean at the end of each day, mean- ing a.m. patients arrived in a cold room — and it stayed cold throughout the day unless patients spoke up. 5 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • M A R C H 2 0 1 7

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