4 Steps to Improve Prevention of Retained Surgical Items
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses has summarized four steps to help healthcare providers improve the prevention of retained surgical items.
These strategies are aligned with AORN's current recommended practices for the prevention of retained surgical items:
1. Alter traditional vocabulary. AORN recommends changing vocabulary, such as "counts" and "sweep," with "accounting" and "methodical wound exam." These terms place a greater emphasis on comprehensive prevention of retained surgical items.
2. Acknowledge every role within the surgical team. There should be mutual respect and trust among surgical team members. A cohesive team effort will further ensure retained surgical items never occur.
3. Establish concrete policies. Policies should be concrete, straight-forward and clear. There can be no room for error.
4. Utilize opportunities for improvement. Surgical leaders should document near-misses or retained surgical items, conduct an investigation and implement corrective action steps.
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