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. Support your case Before you propose a change to your facility's clinical practices — and by most accounts, adopting safety scalpels is a sizable change — back up your case with compelling evidence and moral support. The OR staff at Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin, Tenn., hadn't experienced much in the way of scalpel jabs, but the potential for harm remained a chief concern for the center's safety committee. When the state's occupational safety and health department issued standards on preventing healthcare workplace risks, it put the com- mittee's concerns into sharp focus. "The OSHA ruling helped us to go to surgeons and tell them, 'We don't have a choice. To protect our staff, to meet state requirements, we have to at least try this,'" says David Wilkerson, BBA, BSN, RN, Sumner's director of surgical services. A scientific, data-driven appeal coached surgeons to do, or at least begin to consider, the right thing. "Doctors are very 'show it to me, prove it,'" says Mr. Wilkerson. "We showed them data on all the sharps sticks throughout the facility, national data, and percentages — if you're in this many cases, here's the likelihood you'll be injured." Seeking out allies among your facility's leadership can also boost the cause. "Doing the right thing means getting the right people involved," says Gail Law, BSN, director of standards and quality at Essex Specialized Surgical Institute (ESSI) in West Orange, N.J., which has predominantly used safety scalpels since its opening in 2009. Your medical director and chief of business operations, for instance, are not only obligated to provide a safe place to work, but have a vested interest in avoiding the health, staffing and legal costs of sharps injuries, she says. 5 4 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 O N L I N E | J U LY 2 0 1 5

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