Outpatient Surgery Magazine

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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 6 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J U L Y 2 0 1 7 M any patients spend more time in PACU than should be necessary, but with improved communication — and a little detective work — you can get the number of lingerers down to a much more manageable level. That's what we did. A cou- ple of years back, we set a goal of having 80% of our patients discharged within 2 hours after they were admitted to PACU. It was an ambitious goal, considering our success rate at the time was about 13%. And we knew that 2-hour discharge simply isn't a realistic goal for some patients — those who are diabetic or elderly, for example. But we began to analyze what was causing so many delays for oth- ers, and we quickly found some common themes. Most had to do with pain management, sedation, PONV, voiding issues and other miscella- neous communication gaps. An example of a communication problem: A surgeon would write a prescription for Percocet. But then in PACU, the patient would wake up and tell us Percocet didn't really work for her, and she wanted something else. So we'd have to wait for the surgeon to come back out after his next surgery to get that situation resolved. Situations like that are relatively easy to prevent. We now have an organized huddle before each patient leaves the pre-op holding area. The goal is to make sure the surgeon, the patient, the anesthesia provider and the nurses are all on the same page. Involving patients is Clearing the PACU Logjam • ON THE MOVE Improved communication and detective work helped us get patients out of PACU faster. Ideas Work That

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