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Ideas That Work: Innovative Ideas
6 Neat Workarounds
OSD Staff
Publish Date: July 9, 2015   |  Tags:   Ideas That Work
cord control

Surgical facility leaders are a resourceful bunch. They've never met an OR problem they couldn't solve with duct tape, paper clips and a healthy dose of ingenuity. Slicing open a plastic shower rod or a foam pool noodle as a cord-container may sound crazy — but it's just crazy enough to work. Imagineering, they call it. Here are 6 of our favorite reader-supplied workarounds.

1. Cord control. Sick of cords tripping surgeons and staff? Enlist the help of everyday objects like foam pool noodles to contain the cords at the foot of the patient's bed. Slice the noodle, which has a hole in the middle, from end to end to make a clamshell-like structure. Then place the cords inside the noodle and move it to the end of the bed. You can also use shower curtain rods. Cut the rods into 2-foot-long sections, and similar to the noodles, slice those vertically. Then, wrap the cut rods around cords at the base of the OR table to keep them out of the surgeon's way. Both options are a cheap solution for pesky cords, with each DIY container costing less than $1.

remove tape

2. Ouchless tape removal. Reduce patients' pain as you remove tape from their skin with alcohol-based hand sanitizing foam or gel. For paper tape, apply the foam or gel on top and let it soak through for easy removal. For other types of tape, pull up a small corner and rub the sanitizer back and forth on the skin between the tape and the skin, where it's still sticking. Not only does it make tape removal easier, this method also keeps skin at the IV or dressing site clean and germ-free.

store your delicate instruments

3. Tough case. To store your delicate instruments, optics and electronics, use an inexpensive plastic handgun case. These cases come in different sizes and have egg-crate foam interiors, which help protect sensitive devices. Available in most sporting goods stores at an affordable price.

turning a patient\

4. Prone position practice. When turning a patient into prone position, a pillowcase can make the task easier. The staff member doing the "catching" places a pillowcase on her arms and spreads them apart. As others turn the patient, the catcher places her arms underneath and catches the patient as she flips onto her stomach. Gently place the patient down while the staff member slides her arms out of the pillowcase, without the worry of shearing or tearing skin. Others suggest using a trash bag instead of a pillowcase to save on laundering.

storage spac\e

5. Storage solution. If your limited storage space is forcing your staff to run in and out of the OR to fetch supplies during cases, here is an easy option. Instead of staff lugging 3,000 cc bags to the OR, consider using an Igloo cooler on wheels. You can fill the cooler with the heavy bags before the day's cases and tuck it out of the way in the OR. Then, when another bag is needed mid-procedure, the circulator can reach down and grab it. It increases efficiency and cuts down on the infection risks associated with opening and closing the OR door.

fallen m\op

6. The cure for fallen mop handles. If you use microfiber mops with removable pads to turn over rooms between cases, you know that the mop handles won't stand upright in their buckets on their own. Fallen mop handles present a potential tripping hazard for staff. The simple solution: Buy vinyl-coated hooks at a home improvement superstore and fasten them sideways to the wall in the corridor outside your ORs. The sideways hooks will catch the mop handles and prevent them from falling to the floor.