6 Nurse-Led Innovations for Your Toughest OR Challenges

Publish Date: March 10, 2017


Nurse-Led Innovations

Perioperative nurses are masterful when it comes to addressing problems, improving practices, and innovating to find a better way.

A major hold-up in the OR often centers on surgical instruments—whether there are too many instruments or perhaps the set is missing an instrument the surgeon prefers. This was the case at the San Antonio Military Medical Center in San Antonio Texas, according to Major David Bradley, RN, CNOR, perioperative clinical nurse specialist.

"The surgeon was unhappy because the instruments were not available at time of use. Consequently, the nurse and tech were stressed trying to ensure the correct instruments were located or available in the room. Meanwhile, our sterile processing department was wasting manpower and time reprocessing surgical instruments that were not used," Major Bradley explains.

Sound familiar?

With the implementation of an innovative electronic debrief system that is completed at the end of each surgical case, data was collected that pinpointed a key problem with instrumentation, leading to an important change—reduction of surgical instrumentation. Reduction of instrumentation is one of many improvements Major Bradley and his team members are working on as a result of data from the electronic debriefing system. Bradley describes the debrief system a game-changer for analyzing resource use, optimizing efficiency, and prompting team communication among key perioperative stakeholders.

Major Bradley and his team believe true innovation and improvement is possible when perioperative nurses can come together and collaborate in a multidisciplinary team. For the instrument reduction project, the team consisted of sterile processing, surgeon champions, surgical techs, OR leadership and perioperative nurses.

That’s why they are excited to share their findings from their instrument reduction project in a poster presentation at AORN’s Global Surgical Conference & Expo in April. Major Bradley and his team will also be combing the more than 300 other posters presented at the conference and online through a virtual gallery to find more innovations that might work in their own practice setting.

Are you frustrated trying to find the right solution to a perioperative problem? Here’s a quick look at several other clinical innovation posters from nurses around the world.

1. Implementation Check List Extended for Anesthetic Recovery

Presented by: Cecilia da Silva Angelo and colleagues from AC Camago Cancer Center in São Paulo, Brazil

2. Reduce Sharps Injury Accidents: A Creative Approach

Presented by: Hung-Da Dai from Veterans General Hospital Taipei in Peitaou, Taiwan

3. Second Victimization: A Powerful Threat

Presented by: Heather Hartley from Ottawa, Ont. Canada

4. The Time Is Now: Optimizing Surgical First Case on Time Starts

Presented by: Alvin Lingat from Northridge, Calif.

5. It Takes a Village: A Team Approach to Lower SSI Rates

Presented by: Megan Lamoreux from Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.


Attending the conference? Be sure to visit Hall C and check out all of the posters on clinical innovations, research, and evidence-based practices.

Holding down the fort? Check out many of the posters displayed online beginning April 1. Stay tuned to AORN’s 2017 Global Surgical Conference & Expo website for more details.