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OR Excellence 2019 Awards - Outpatient Surgery Magazine - September 2019

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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ment reprocessing routine, rarely pretreating instruments in the OR, and we'd never had problems with SSIs. So they thought, if it's not broke, why fix it? Well, you need to fix it because you're playing with fire with both auditors and patients. After all, there's a first time for everything — including SSIs. The idea, of course, is that by pretreating instruments at point of use, you not only reduce the risk of SSIs, but perhaps more importantly, bioburden won't harden and make the jobs of your reprocessing techs more difficult and time-consuming. You know how hard it is to clean a bowl caked with mac-and-cheese residue you left in the sink overnight? Now you know how your sterile processing staff might feel. Getting the guck off right after your meal works wonders when you actually wash the dishes later on. Same goes for surgical instruments. The Joint Commission now "expects" surgical instruments to at least be kept moist until terminal cleaning if the instructions for use (IFUs) of specific instruments call for it, which increases the urgency. Now that this is the standard of care, surgical facilities need to adapt and implement. We found that successfully changing the clinical process required us to also change the culture around it. In the endless battle to balance on-time starts and turnover time, OR staff prioritize many duties, which leads to compromises. When you ask them to complete another task in the same time frame, you might receive a response like, "How are we supposed to make this happen and still remain efficient?" Well, in our case, we made it happen. Here's how. Audit. Take a close look at how you're currently doing things. We audited the decontamination area to determine how well our OR staff was complying with pretreatment protocols, collecting data on how many instruments enter CSP in substandard condition. We 1 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y. N E T • 2 3

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