Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Clear Cut - July 2015 - 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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1 1 7 J U LY 2 0 1 5 | O U T P A T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T levels in our suites. She says normal talking produces 40 to 60 decibels, while a rock concert generates as much as 140 decibels. The average OR produces 77 to 100 decibels, according to her research. That exces- sive noise in the OR can lead to miscommunication and errors. It can also heighten workplace stress for your staff, says Dr. Ritchie. For her study, Dr. Ritchie surveyed 17 anesthesia providers, 23 sur- geons and 13 nurses about their perceptions of noise levels in the OR. She says each member of the surgical team has different perceptions of excessive noise. In her study, most anesthesia pro-viders and nurs- es reported having difficulty hearing in the OR, compared with only about one-third of surgeons. About half of the anesthesia providers and nurses believe noise is generally excessive, but only 4% of surgeons seem to be bothered by noise levels. Alarmingly, her research showed that average decibel levels were high- est during critical stages of surgery: anesthesia induction and emergence, and the pre-op time out. The good news: It appeared as if surgeons, anesthesia providers and nurses are equally comfortable in asking for a team member to quiet down. Many respondents expressed strong opinions about noise levels during sur- gery, but Dr. Ritchie notes that many facilities don't evaluate or address the issue. Dr. Ritchie says it's "paramount" that you address noise pollution in the OR, and take steps to eliminate controllable noise that interferes with effective communication and distracts from safe patient care. Average decibel levels were highest during critical stages of surgery: anesthesia induction and emergence, and the pre-op time out.

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