Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Award Winners - September 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 78 of 156

and winner of this year's Environmental Stewardship OR Excellence Award. "With EMRs and everything else we're putting on our nurses' plates, sometimes it's almost like they don't have time to breathe. But we found that if you get the right people at the table early on and everybody involved takes a chunk, it won't be a burden; in fact, it can be easy." Like politics, environmental conservation can be a polarizing issue, but Ms. Tharp says the program received "no pushback whatsoever." With the full support of the administration, representatives from sur- gery, environmental services, sterile supply processing and materials management got together to determine the program's feasibility. They began the planning process in February 2017, and the program "went live" the following month. How the program works: Any clean waste from items opened during a case — paper, cardboard, plastic — gets placed in a special blue trash container with a clear liner. Before the patient enters the OR, the clear bag is tied off and the container is rolled into a semi-sterile area. At the end of the case, the clean recyclable waste gets placed on top of the dirty case cart, which is then transported to sterile supply processing. There, staff separates the clean waste from the dirty — the clear liner distinguishes the clean waste from the rest — and takes it to the appropriate outdoor recycling container. A contracted waste hauler then takes the clean waste to a resource center, where it is sorted, bailed and hauled to various mills for use in plastic bottles and packaging materials. The hospital fine-tuned the program with some key post-implemen- tation adjustments. For example, the materials management depart- ment added the clear liners to the list of most frequently used items delivered from a key supply-chain partner, which keeps supplies at the ready. Also, the hospital increased its frequency of pickups to S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 7 9

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