Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Is Your Data Secure? Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine - November 2017

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 37 of 122

infections, suggesting the surgical teams were distracted enough to be noncompliant with aseptic processes. High noise levels in the OR have also been associated with ineffective communication, dimin- ished speech intelligibility, poor performance of complex tasks, poor cognitive function and concentration, stress, fatigue and anxiety. Turning down the volume Noise levels can also be a contributing factor to a number of patient safety events, including wrong-site surgery and retained surgical objects. Escalating noise is a pervasive problem in today's ORs and an underrated contributing factor to the never events that continue to happen, so you need to develop a total systems approach to turning down the volume during surgery. • Get a baseline measurement. You can use sound level meters and noise dosimeters to generate empirical data about the sound levels in your ORs. One staff member might not even notice the sounds of her working environment while another might not be able to concentrate in the "din." Noise that's pleasant to one person — AC/DC blasting over the OR's sound system — might be unbearable to someone else. Objective data can help you decide if noise levels are exceeding a safe threshold and determine if you need to address the issue. Some noise meters alert staff with visual reminders when levels reach a point that is unsafe or not conducive to communication and concentration. Placing the meters in ORs and other patient care areas is an effective way to provide staff with real-time feedback about the noise they're producing and can help them grasp the importance of reducing distractions during the care they provide. • Address noise producers. Minimize conversations about other patients and other procedures or subjects that are unrelated to sur- gery. It's also important to discuss only essential aspects of the cur- Safety S 3 8 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7

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