Can too much foot traffic in the OR affect patient safety? Study says yes — 5 insights

A new study, published in Orthopedics, shows that foot traffic in operating rooms results in the defeat of certain patient safety efforts.

Here are five insights:

1. Investigators tracked the number and length of door openings during nearly 200 knee and hip arthroplasty surgeries performed at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore over three months.

2. They found enough door openings in nearly one-third of the procedures potentially defeats the safety effects of positive pressure systems that aim to keep germ-contaminated air out of sterile ORs.

3. Of the 100 knee arthroplasties and 91 hip arthroplasties performed during the study time, doors opened on average every 2.5 minutes.

4. In 77 of the 191 cases, doors were open long enough to compromise the ORs' positive pressure systems.

5. According to researchers, excessive foot traffic in the OR is believed to be a common occurrence not unique to the Johns Hopkins hospital.

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