Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Year of the Nurse - November 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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W arm blankets and warming devices are easy-to-apply inter- ventions that prevent a patient's temperature from dip- ping below 36°C before, during and after surgery. So why is inadvertent periopera- tive hypothermia still an issue? Spectrum Healthcare Partners, a multispecialty physician- owned medical group based in Southport, Maine, had been documenting how many patients are nor- mothermic when they come out of the OR at the group's former orthopedic surgery centers. "We'd been measuring that rate for a long time within our anesthesia group," says Miriam Dowling- Schmitt, MS, RN, CPHQ, CPPS, director of quality at Spectrum. "Although a majority of our patients were emerging from surgery normothermic, we noticed some opportunities for improvement." The ultimate push for change came at the start of 2018, when CMS began requiring the documenta- tion of a normothermic temperature reading within 15 minutes of a patient's arrival in the PACU as a quality metric of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program. Spectrum seized the opportunity to review their internal data to make sure the patient warming practices at the surgery centers met the ASCQR's national bench- mark of 95% or more of patients being normother- mic in recovery. Ms. Dowling-Schmitt launched a quality improve- ment project based on methodology used in Lean Six Sigma: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC). • Define and measure. They began by identify- ing the problem and assessing why it was happen- ing. Ms. Dowling-Schmitt's team reviewed the records of patients who did not meet the nor- mothermic metric and discovered 87.1% of 4 8 • O U T P A 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 2 0 Normothermia Is the New Normal Turn up the heat on proactive patient warming to stave off the chilling effects of surgery. Dan Cook | Editor-in-Chief WARMING TREND Efforts to improve warming practices must begin with an assessment of patient temperature readings over time.

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