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Creative Ways to Save Money in the OR - May 2016 - 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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The Dirty Secret to Greening Your ORs You might have to go trash-picking to solve your red bag waste problems. T here's no telling what you'll find when you go dumpster diving in the red bags in your ORs — only that you're likely to find many things that don't belong: saline bottles, prep kits, dispos- able supply wrappers and IV bags. Those were just a few of the items that Kristen Perrego, RN, BSN, CNOR, fished out of the red bags at Bayhealth Kent General Hospital in Dover, Del., as part of a project to determine what percentage of red bag trash in her facility was non- compliant with the OSHA definition of regulated waste. Her most egregious finds during her random audits of the recepta- cles? A large cardboard stapler box peeking out of the red bag trash and protected health information. "The proper place for PHI is in the shred bins," says Ms. Perrego, the clinical educator/preceptor of peri- operative services. Even when she staged this photo of her- self going through the trash with a pair of tongs, she found a plastic wrapper that clearly doesn't belong. "Guess we'll need more education after all!" she says. The problem is not confined to OR nurs- es who automatically double-bag the red bag trash ("Check with your manufacturer to determine if the thickness of the bags allows for just a single layer to be used," says Ms. Perrego) and who still believe that all trash generated after the incision should go into the red bag trash. Surgeons, she says, are just as guilty, 1 0 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • M A Y 2 0 1 6 Editor's Page Dan O'Connor • SCAVENGER HUNT Ms. Perrego found many items that didn't belong in the red bag waste. Kristen Perrego, RN, BSN, CNOR

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