Reducing SSIs: A team approach

Deborah Spratt, RN, Director Perioperative Services, St. James Mercy Hospital

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are the most common nosocomial infections among surgical patients. Despite improvements in infection prevention, SSIs remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. Review of our data and processes identified an opportunity to make positive change by convening a multidisciplinary committee to create and champion an evidence-based prevention bundle. This bundle resulted in the introduction of new products, patient screening, staff education and patient education that demonstrated a measurable reduction in SSIs over a five-year period.


A Window into Washington: Where are we now and where are we going with health policy?

Ken Perez, Vice President of Healthcare Policy, Omnicell

This presentation will cover the most salient health policy developments during the first year and a half of the Trump administration and forecast policy changes for the next few years. 

Ken Perez serves as vice president of healthcare policy for Omnicell. He is also a health reform columnist for HFM, the journal of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and contributes to numerous other health care publications


Orienting a New Generation: Success from the start

Karen Rowan, MSN, RN, CNOR, System Nurse Educator, Northwell Health

According to AORN, the average age of an OR nurse is 53, with 68 percent planning to retire by 2022. There are four generations of nurses working together. With a lack of OR education in undergraduate programs, it is up to health systems to develop fellowship programs for new graduate nurses. Nurse educators and managers have created didactic material, but it is up to the baby boomer preceptors to assist in developing the millennial RN fellow’s skill set. Research has shown that baby boomers learn and communicate differently than the millennial preceptee. There is no specialized perioperative preceptor program, leaving many nurses feeling ill-prepared to assume this role. This presentation will discuss strategies to bridge the generational gap and create a cohesive and effective clinical experience for both baby boomer and millennial age groups. We will also discuss the benefits of improved nursing satisfaction, retention and the cost savings resulting from a more effective orientation program.


Establishing a High School Sterile Processing Clinical Program

Elizabeth “Betsy” Vane, RN, MS, CNOR, CHL, CRCST, Health Science Teacher, Health Careers High School, and Deborah Austin, RN, BSN, MA Health Department, Coordinator, Health Careers High School

A challenge for today’s surgical team is maintaining certified/qualified sterile processing personnel. It is time to move toward teaching high school students about this career field. This program will provide a discussion of the significant clinical and legal considerations for teaching high school students about the roles and functions of sterile processing personnel in an academic setting and within the hospital(s) in their community. School district support of a national certification process will be included.


Catch Me If You Can 

Rodrigo Garcia, RN, CRNA, Chief Nurse Anesthetist, Parkdale Center for Professionals

Upon completion of the program, the attendee will be able to describe three diversion techniques often used in health care settings, as well as identify five common characteristics of the addicted professional and be able to identify three inconsistencies in the health care system in regard to diversion prevention and appropriate intervention.


Best Practice and Quality Improvement Discussion

Elbridge Merritt, MSN, RN, CNOR, CHL, CRCST, CIS, Clinical Nurse, Officer in Charge of the Operating Room, San Antonio Military Medical Center

This presentation will address contemporary, problematic areas within sterilization processes that can affect the overall quality of processed instrumentation and thus the quality of patient care. The presenter will also review challenges and ways to overcome and improve the quality of instrument processing with the goal of mitigating defects and improving patient care. He will also discuss ways to document, investigate, inform and improve various sterilization processes.


Crew Resource Management For Your Perioperative Team

Riki Watts, RN, Director of Surgical Services, St. Claire Health Care

Communication has been identified as a consistent root cause of adverse events within perioperative settings. Communication techniques used can be inconsistent and information sharing is often a fragmented process. The purpose of this session is to improve team communication in an effort to enhance the culture of patient safety. The curriculum selected is crew resource management training via a scenario-based training course focused on team communication in a variety of practice settings. Perioperative teams that complete crew resource management training find that perioperative staff believe the culture of patient safety is enhanced after training that includes participation from all key stakeholders in the operating room, including medical staff.


Product Evaluations: More than just asking “Do you like it?”

Kimberly Smith, RN, MS, CNOR, CSPDM

Too frequently facilities allow vendors to conduct trials/evaluations of new products or utilize tools that do not address the criteria on which an acquisition decision is being based. This presentation is aimed at teaching consumers how to identify what need a product should fulfill, consider other aspects of the acquisition such as the many aspects of the logistics tail, identify important criteria and effectively judge the performance of one product versus another. This presentation teaches consumers how to make a normally subjective process very objective and thus result in better acquisition practices.


Perioperative Assessment: The eyes are the windows to the soul

Sharon McNamara, RN, Perioperative Consultant, OR Dx+Rx Solutions for Surgical Safety

This presentation will challenge attendees to re-examine their skills and practices in the assessment of the perioperative patient. Using evidence-based practice (EBP) and critical thinking each attendee will hone their communication skills to elicit a thorough patient history and sharpen their comprehensive physical assessment routine to assist in identifying the uniqueness of each patient’s physical and psychosocial needs during the perioperative experience. The group exercise tool can be taken back to clinical sites and used as an exercise in staff meetings.


Every Drop Counts: A comprehensive approach to blood management

Constance B. Squibb, BSN, MPA, RN, Strategic Program Manager, Medtronic Transformative Solutions

Understanding transfusions and the risk/benefit is only the beginning. What can we do to slow the use of transfusions for elective surgical procedures? What is a transfusion? What is Medicare’s ruling on transfusions? What is the impact of transfusions on bundle pricing? These and other questions will be answered in this thought-provoking and interactive presentation.


What a Clinical Nurse Specialist Can Do For You!

Alisa D. Poe, MSN, RN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, CNOR, Perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist and Kris Jackson, MSN, RN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, RN-BC, Clinical Nurse Specialist, The University of Tennessee Medical Center

Now more than ever, it is imperative hospitals contain cost. The clinical nurse specialist is often overlooked as an advanced practice nurse. However, the clinical nurse specialist has the training and skills to be a “change agent” (McGrath, Negrin, Hugo, & Smith, 2010; National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists [NACNS], 2018). The purpose of this presentation is to bring awareness to the role of the clinical nurse specialist. In addition, the presenters will discuss how they have made a difference in their respective areas. This presentation will bring to light a world of possibilities for a role often forgotten.


Is Your Anesthesia Team Delighting Your Surgeons and Patients?

Gregory V. Hickman, MD, FASA, Medical Director/Anesthesia Director, Andrews Institute ASC

This presentation will demonstrate how an anesthesia team can enhance the service experience and increase case volume at your hospital or ambulatory surgical center. The presenter will focus on innovative regional anesthesia techniques that will let your facility host more extensive cases and strategically position the facility for success by pleasing surgeons and patients alike. It will also address how to get anesthesiologists involved and active in the surgery center.


Creating and Nurturing an Adaptable Culture: Collaboration for successful OR operations management

Lee Hedman, Executive Vice President and Dr. Tom Blasco, MD, MS, Medical Director, Surgical Directions

Culture is commonly a significant barrier to change in hospital ORs. Overcoming this barrier demands appropriate and thoughtful staff engagement in order to adapt to changes. Maintaining opportunities for collaboration is one essential key to creating an adaptable culture. Much depends on collaboration and coordination from patient outcomes to staff satisfaction to the hospital bottom line. Join this session to learn about straightforward collaboration techniques that can help solve this dilemma. Topics such as the “perioperative huddle” will be discussed along with case studies from hospitals that have successfully implemented these techniques.