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OR Excellence Awards - September 2020 - 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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T his isn't the first time members of the sur- gical team within the University Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) health system have been recognized for their efforts to pro- tect patients from harm. A couple years ago, two nurses at UPMC Horizon hospital earned the Speak Up for Patient Safety Award — one nurse stepped in during a pre- op time out to avert a wrong-site surgery and the other discovered the wrong weight for a pediatric patient had been entered into the electronic health record, a good catch that prevent- ed a potentially devastating dosing error. The actions of the nurses were rightfully recognized, but their willingness to speak up to protect patients was more commonplace than worthy of congratulations. "I've always felt patient safety is extremely important in the surgical environment because patients can't advocate for themselves," says Rhonda Sebastian, MSN, RN, CNOR, clinical direc- tor of surgical services at UPMC Horizon and UPMC Jameson, sister hospitals and winners of the 2020 OR Excellence Award for Patient Safety. "Staff are empowered to speak up for patients. If they see something wrong, they say something. We'll always stand behind them." The hospitals promote safe patient care in sever- al other effective ways: • Communication and collaboration. The hospi- tals' Professional Practice Council — comprised of nurses, surgical techs, central sterile techs and OR service techs — meets monthly and provides a forum in which staff members can address operational and clinical issues that impact safe patient care. It took a lot of effort and education, but the tired trope of "what happens in the OR stays in the OR" has been replaced with a culture of open communi- cation. "We conduct regular in-services and policy reviews to ensure frontline nurses understand patient safety is our number one priority," says Ms. Sebastian. "It's engrained in every member of the care team on a daily basis." • Constant learning. All new surgical nurses are required to take the AORN Periop 101 course and must seek certified perioperative nurse (CNOR) sta- tus — the health system provides a prep course — after working in the OR for two years. In 2018, certi- fication of the hospitals' nurses increased from 18% to 88%. Overall, 92% of the care team — including central sterile techs and central sterile supply staff — achieved certification. "I'm big on continuing education," says Ms. Sebastian. "It not only benefits staff, it also benefits patient care." She talks the talk and walks the walk. Ms. Sebastian is both a CNOR and a certified instrument specialist, which she obtained because she manages the central sterile department and wanted to under- stand the intricacies involved in working in that important aspect of safe surgical care. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y . N E T • 2 3 Dan Cook | Editor-in-Chief Passionate About Advocating for Patients The surgical teams at UPMC Horizon and Jameson prioritize protecting those in their care. PATIENT SAFETY HALL MONITORS The team at UPMC Jameson hold a socially distanced huddle to discuss patient care issues. UPMC Jameson Hospital TM Sponsored by

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