the patient and their caregiver for
what to expect before surgery, the day
of surgery, and following surgery –
everything from phone call follow-ups
to what bandages and ointments they
may need. “We want to make sure
there are no surprises,” Allen says.
Planned procedures afford the extra
appointments and time for education,
but the unplanned cases throw a
wrench into the system. Allen’s hospital
relies on its own consistency and staff
competency to make sure the environment is properly prepared and all
preventative measures are installed.
For instance, more and more
facilities are developing protocol that
demands a collaborative meeting of the
surgical team. “I think the checklists are
becoming very commonplace, and it’s
a great way to make sure all the checks
and balances are in place,” she says.
If an SSI or surgical complication
is identified, another helpful practice
is to track case outcomes to find
trends that can result in solutions.
“I think a lot of hospitals have those
drill downs in effect to reduce overall
risk factors,” Allen says, calling this
process “helpful and beneficial”.
To understand how products can aid
in SSI prevention, Surgical Products
connected with Kim Haines, RN,
certified OR nurse and vice president
of clinical resources at Medline, and
Kristin Harper, vice president of Brand
Management at Cardinal Health.
What are some current lapses in
wound care for outpatient surgery
patients? How can we overcome
wound-care essentials, including
information on how to monitor and
assess the wound at home.
In addition, patients and caregivers
need healthcare providers to be
easily accessible to address wound
concerns throughout the healing
How have approaches to patient
and caregiver education changed
in the last few years?
Haines: Patient and family education
is critical when it comes to managing
patient outcomes. Health literacy is
an important aspect to consider when
developing tools and materials. With
the growth of technology, simple
video prompts can help increase
patient participation and compliance
in care regimes.
Making sure patients truly understand what is expected of them
pre- and post-surgery is just as
important as the actual success of
Cultural and personal influences
also need to be taken into consideration when developing education
since everyone might have their own
“definition of cleanliness” that could
conflict with the surgical expectations
for improved outcomes. It is essential
to make sure you are clearly identifying what the care expectations
Additionally, it is important that
healthcare workers participate in
ongoing education opportunities that
discuss best practices for improving
“With the growth
of technology, simple
video prompts can help
increase patient partici-
pation and compliance
in care regimes.”
Haines: Wound care dressings
are oftentimes overlooked with outdated practices and protocols.
By collaborating with advanced
wound care team (WOCN) and
infection prevention teams, staff can
properly identify updated wound care
For example, hospitals should use
evidence-based research to identify
best practices when selecting appropriate dressings.
Harper: Proper discharge planning,
including providing helpful postsurgical care information, as well
as insight about the right treatment
for the wound type, and the proper
wound treatment products might help
ease patient anxiety.
The instructions given to the
patient or caregiver — including
information regarding how and
when to contact the healthcare
provider or when to seek emergency
care — help to facilitate a safe post-operative experience.
At the time of discharge, patients
and caregivers are in need of
Kristin Harper Kim Haines Vicki Allen