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October 2021 Issue

This October issue includes a CE article on the use of quality improvement processes and data analysis in perioperative nursing practice; and a CE article on incorporating human factors in perioperative nursing to reduce errors. The Clinical Issues column explores parental presence protocols, the use of music in the OR, transfusion regulations, and clinical blood product transfusions.

Featured CE Articles

1. An Overview of Quality Improvement Processes and Data Analysis in Perioperative Nursing Practice

AORN sets quality improvement (QI) standards that nurses can use to collect and interpret data. There are a variety of benchmarks available from national organizations and regulatory bodies: AORN provides evidence- based guidelines for perioperative practice, whereas The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services specify patient care requirements. Nurses can use the subject, objective observations, analysis, and plan (SOAP) format to assess, diagnose, plan, and communicate information related to the QI process to key stakeholders. When participating in QI activities, perioperative nurses may find it helpful to understand the importance of values that measure location (eg, mean, median, mode) and variability; display data in a visual format (eg, histogram, run chart), and determine significance (eg, t test, P value). An understanding of QI processes should help nurses work to improve patient care and evaluate effectiveness of the actions through statistical analysis.

2. Safety First: Incorporating Human Factors in Perioperative Nursing to Reduce Errors

Perioperative nurses can use standardized protocols to improve efficiency and reduce the risk of error. Although short-term memory limits an individual’s ability to recall a list of critical tasks, use of cognitive aids and checklists helps perioperative nurses avoid forgetting essential process steps.24 Situational awareness may be difficult to maintain; nurses can use available technology to improve their awareness of interdisciplinary team members’ work processes and should speak up when they observe an event that may negatively affect patient safety. Perioperative nurses should maintain good communication practices to prevent the loss of essential information. They can use standardized tools (eg, the SBAR technique) to improve the flow of communication among team members.

Clinical Issues

Clinical Issues—October 2021

This month’s Q&A column addresses the following topics:
  • Parental presence protocols
  • Music in the OR
  • Transfusion regulations
  • Clinical blood product transfusions

October Journal Issue