AORN Blog - The Periop Life

2019 Guidelines: Be Ready For 3 Big Changes


2019 Guidelines: Be Ready For 3 Big Changes

January 6, 2019     

A new year means new and updated guidelines from AORN to put into practice. Start planning now with these inside tips from AORN’s guideline experts.

The best practices for evidence-based perioperative care should be your only practices.

In 2019, many new and updated evidence-based practices from AORN shake up longstanding practices and will require more interdisciplinary collaboration to tailor to individual workplace settings.

The look and organization of the guidelines have also changed, so this will be something to plan for in assessing current policies and practices against the latest evidence, according to AORN’s Julie Cahn, DNP, RN, CNOR, RN-BC, ACNS-BC, CNS-CP, and Lisa Spruce, DNP, RN, CNS-CP, CNOR, ACNS, ACNP, FAAN.

Get a head start by reviewing a few of the changes.

1. Cover the sterile field.

  • Cover the sterile field when not in use. Parts of the sterile field may also be covered during the procedure.
  • Review how you cover your sterile field. The sterile field may be covered with the two-“cuffed”-drape method or with a drape designed for the purposes of covering a sterile field.
  • Evaluate your process during delays. Constant monitoring of the covered sterile field during unanticipated delays is no longer required. See the guideline for suggestions on how to make your facility-based decision.

2. Identify how traffic is limited in your OR.

Then compare your list to the 14 new interventions for reducing door opening in the guideline.

3. Assess your air handling system.

Ask your facilities personnel to come to the OR to give an in-service on how your system works. Then compare your facility-specific information to the new interventions in the guideline.

A new format for AORN guidelines is also making it easier to drill down into the guidelines for specific types of information. For example, specific activities and interventions are now called out in each guideline. Beyond the guidelines, new resources, including the Facility Reference Center, have launched to help educators, leaders, and staff nurses access guideline information on the run.

Get inside tips on these and other changes from Cahn and Spruce at AORN Global Surgical and Conference and Expo. Schedule time  to attend their session “What’s New with the AORN Guidelines” on Tuesday, April 9 and bring back the rationale for why these changes need to be made in your ORs.