Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Healing is Coming - February 2021 - 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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I f you want to roll out a patient warming protocol that requires your facility to invest time, resources money — and, of course, a change to the status quo — you need to give leadership a com- pelling reason why the move is a worthwhile investment. We knew that active patient warming helps to prevent unplanned periopera- tive hypothermia, but our hospital didn't have a standardized method to warm patients, so we gradually launched a successful prewarming protocol across our entire orthopedic service line, and what we learned during the process could convince you to make changes to your own patient-warming protocols. Starting small Your first order of business is to create a warming protocol that's effective, repeatable and right for your facility. You don't have to reinvent the wheel; there are plenty of resources available to guide you, including evidence- backed guidelines from organiza- tions such as AORN. Obviously, the protocol will vary from facili- ty to facility, and there are a num- ber of different warming methods to choose from (forced-air warming, conductive fabric devices, circulating water devices), but the most important component is choosing a process that employs active warming, which, as the name suggests, warms patients with an external source of heat, as opposed to passive warming tactics, which only prevent insulation against heat loss — warm blan- kets, for example. I also recommend starting small. Procedural changes are a tough sell, especially when those changes involve multiple staff levels (nurses, sur- geons, techs and anesthesiologists). After some open discussions with our surgeons and anesthesi- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 1 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y . N E T • 4 1 Kathy Abbott, BSN, RN | Phoenix, Ariz. Warming Works Wonders We trialed prewarming on a small group of patients, and now interest is heating up among multiple specialties. REAL TIME Phoenix Children's Hospital trialed a prewarming protocol on a small group of spinal fusion patients before rolling it out to its entire orthopedic service line. Rylee Chalmers

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