resource to access patient information. This gives
patients a chance to be actively engaged in their care
and verify the information is correct.
• Surgical Count Systems: There are different methods to help track surgical sponges before, during and
after surgery. Some sponges have 2D matrix technology that acts like a barcode so they can be scanned
as they enter the body and as they leave the body,
and some have a chip in them that can be seen with
imaging devices or sensed with a wand. “Those are
good technologies to supplement the manual count.
They do not replace the manual count,” Spruce
• ‘Time Out’ Checklists: The time out, championed by AORN, The Joint Commission, the World
Health Organization (WHO), and the Council on
Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS), is starting to be implemented by more facilities. “The fast
pace and complexity of the OR can distract perioperative teams away from the detail of each patient’s
specific conditions relative to his or her invasive
procedure,” said Patty Taylor, vice president of
professional education and clinical affairs at Ansell.
The checklist verifying patient information can be
done with a grease board or tablet. The important
thing is everyone is there and paying attention, she
One thing that each of these have in common is time
and money. “It is the responsibility of surgical facilities
to keep patients safe. Additionally, they could face litigation costs and fines if a never event happens, which adds
to the burden of the entire healthcare system,” Spruce
According to the National Quality Forum, five of the 29
never events are specific to the operating room (OR), but
what’s left off this list are sharps accidents. These impact
clinicians more than patients.
The American Nurses Association estimates 600,000 to
800,000 sharps injuries impact healthcare workers annually,
but it also thinks that number is low due to underreporting.
This is a big issue for OR staff who are at a high risk, said
Patty Taylor, vice president of professional education and
clinical affairs at Ansell.
“Historically, the OR has been second only to patient
rooms in the frequency of reported sharps-related injuries,”
she explained. “The inherent nature of the blood-intensive
OR, combined with the use of sharp instruments and other
devices, often with limited visual cues, and the teamwork
required by members of the surgical team place periopera-
tive personnel at higher risk of sharps-related injuries and
exposure to blood than other healthcare workers.”
Professional associations are lobbying to have sharps
accidents added to the official never events list to help
protect these team members, she added. Even though it’s
not a recognized issue, Taylor explained facilities should
have sharp injury prevention plans in place as part of their
compliance with OSHA; this means having sharps safety
policies and procedures, awareness, education campaigns
and safety devices.
REDUCE THE RISK OF NEVER
EVENTS IN YOUR O.R.
SANDEL Patient Safety Solutions
Ansell provides a complete line of SANDEL Never Event
Protection products designed to help prevent costly surgical
errors and aid in compliance with The Joint Commission.