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AORN Blog - The Periop Life

Evidence-based Strategies Lead to Research Poster Win

A Conversation with Michelle Mathias, BSN, RN, CNOR


Evidence-based Strategies Lead to Research Poster Win

September 12, 2018     

Protecting patients from pressure injury takes a team representing all players in surgical care to follow the safest evidence-based practices.

At our hospital, a team of 12 interprofessional core members we call the HAPI (healthcare-associated pressure injury) team was truly happy when we were awarded AORN’s top honor for our evidence-based poster presentation, Using a Collaborative Team to Reduce Pressure Injuries Originating in the Perioperative Division.

At the center of this top honor is a win for our patients through a successfully implemented and sustained safe positioning approach that is reducing perioperative patient pressure injury.

We owe this successful safety change and research poster win to three important strategies.

1. Drill Down to Share the Best Evidence

Selling our preferred HAPI prevention approaches to surgeons and other OR team members who would benefit from these ideas was trickier than we thought. We had to find evidence for HAPI prevention that was most recent and directly impacted perioperative care to support change.

To find this evidence we enlisted the work of Sarah Tweedy, a DNP, to scour the literature. Sarah combed through these articles and selected the evidence most directly related to our procedures and practices in the OR.

2. Sell It As an Interprofessional Team

From the beginning, our HAPI team has been fully engaged on all fronts to prevent patient positioning injury and this team spirit really comes through in our poster.

This collaborative spirit has inspired sustained change from the top down through dedicated leadership support and from the bottom up through grassroots efforts to make time for every practice change we require.

3. Ask for Constructive Criticism

With such a big project, distilling key aspects of our work into a handful of bullet points for the poster required an expert and objective eye. We were lucky to have our nursing quality liaison Linda Abbott, DNP, RN, CWON, AOCN, to edit our poster for maximum messaging potential. Linda helped us organize key poster points in easy-to-understand language and convinced us to take out information that could be shared with colleagues through follow-up discussion.

So much of what we do in quality improvement is behind the scenes, with our reward being safer patient care. We wouldn’t have it any other way, but it is so validating to have our poster presentation recognized by perioperative peers for a job well done.

Poster abstract submissions are now open for AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo 2019 in Nashville, TN, April 6-10. Check out the research poster template and abstract example and submit an abstract for your own winning poster by Sept. 30, 2018.

AORN Member Tip

AORN members get access to the 2018 posters and can earn up to 36 free contact hours. The posters are valued at $275, but are free for members only for a limited time. Learn more.

Michelle Mathias, BSN, RN, CNOR works at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.