Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Manager's Guide to Staff & Patient Safety - October 2016

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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4 8 S U P P L E M E N T T O 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 C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 I ncidences of retained surgical objects are extremely rare, occurring maybe once in every 5,000 operations. But when it happens — and it does happen, thousands of times per year — the economic conse- quences can be profound, often running into hundreds of thousands of dollars in readmissions, litigation, settlements and damaged reputations. Not to mention the human component. "Any surgeon who's had one of these events is personally devastated by it," says Scott Regenbogen, MD, MPH, a col- orectal surgeon with the University of Michigan Health System. So why are objects continually left behind in patients, and what can you do to truly prevent these "never events" from happening? Can't count on counting It's very easy to lose sight of sponges, especially in an open abdomen, according to Dr. Regenbogen. "They can easily be packed away in spaces you can't see," he says. "Surgeons may not be trying to keep track of each and every sponge, Spot Every Sponge Give your staff the help they need to ensure no object is left behind. • FINAL TALLY Surgical team members with numerous responsibilities can be distracted from conducting accurate counts. Pamela Bevelhymer, RN, BSN Jim Burger Senior Editor

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