Older Patients at Greater Risk During Surgery Center Care Transitions

Older patients are at greater risk of complication during surgery center transitions, and surgery centers should implement evidence-based tools and electronic health records to improve transitions, according to a study published in the Oct. 2011 issue of AORN Journal.

Although the majority of surgeries in the United States are performed in the outpatient setting, the study reported that ASCs have not played a major role in projects to evaluate safe practices for patient transitions.

In "Transitioning the Older Adult in the Ambulatory Care Setting," Joan M. nelson, DNP, RN, APRN-BC, and Jane Carrington, PhD, RN, of the University of Colorado College of Nursing, wrote that individual ASCs should develop protocols for patient transitions.

The authors said evidence-based tools and checklists developed for the acute-care setting can serve as a foundation for the development of these protocols. The authors also recommend the implementation and adoption of an electronic health record across the entire patient care spectrum — but especially during care transitions, when costly errors and miscommunication is more likely.

Learn more about AORN.

Related Articles on Patient Safety in Surgery Centers:
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Judge Stops Nevada Medical Board's Ability to Report Negative Data on a Physician
Gastrointestinal Illness Forces Closure at Children's Hospital in Colorado

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