Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Post Your Prices Online - September 2013 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribe

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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OSE_1309_part3_Layout 1 9/6/13 12:21 PM Page 146 PRODUCT News Great ideas for your OR Don't Just Count Sponges, Account for Them A simple and inexpensive system to prevent retained objects. M anually counting the sponges a surgeon uses in a procedure is highly unreliable. In recent years, electronic SPONGE ACCOUNTING tracking systems that use Throughout surgery, the circulating nurse places bar-coded or radiofrequenused sponges in the easily visible hanging holders, each containing 10 pockets. At the cy-tag-equipped sponges end of the procedure, each pocket should contain a (tinyurl.com/o5vtn3l) have sponge, whether used or not. made it easier to verify counts and prevent retained objects, yet not every OR employs them. Could accounting for sponges, not just counting them, be the answer? Sponge ACCOUNTing — the letters are capitalized for emphasis on accountability and accounting — is a system that involves hanging plastic blue-backed sponge holders and a wall-mounted dry-erase board to record the surgical counts in a standardized manner so everyone can see how sponges are being used. The process is centered on the question: "Where are the sponges?" rather than "What's the count?" Sponge ACCOUNTing requires that OR staff manage all sponges in multiples of 10. Throughout surgery, the circulating nurse places used sponges in easily visible hanging sponge holders, each containing 10 pockets. The blue-backed sponge holders hang on racks attached to designated IV poles. You use a separate holder for each sponge type. "At the end of the operation, you must have 1 sponge in each of the pockets of the sponge holder, whether they are used or unused," says surgeon Verna C. Gibbs, MD, director of NoThing Left Behind, an independent national surgical patient safety project trying to prevent 1 4 6 O U T PAT I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | S E P T E M B E R 2013

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