Staff and patient safety

QUESTION:

Worksafe Australia recommends that employees stay hydrated. What, if any, risk does having drink bottles in the OR /close proximity to the patient?

BRIEF ANSWER:

This issue is addressed in two of our standards, namely Fatigue Management in the Perioperative Environment and Infection Prevention

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QUESTION:

ACORN standards stipulate that there is to be a minimum of two (2) surgical/procedural counts for any procedure where accountable items are used. Is the Initial Count 'counted' within these two counts?

ANSWER:

ACORN standard Management of Accountable Items Used During Surgery/Procedures in the Perioperative Environment, standard statement 4, recommends a minimum of two (2) counts. The initial count is count one; the closing count is count two. Additional counts are to be conducted when a body cavity is entered, with “an additional count of accountable items …performed on closure of each cavity”.



QUESTION:

In the current ACORN Standard Management of accountable items it states that a “paper based APD is used”; however under Position statement – documentation is does say that “documentation may be either paper-based and/or the EHR”. Can you clarify if we can move our count sheet and surgical safety checklist onto the EHR/EMR as long as all the standards are met for accountable items?

ANSWER:

ACORN recommends a risk management approach when making decisions about perioperative care.  While the use of paper-based health records is traditional and still commonplace,   electronic health records (EHR) are replacing paper-based medical records within and across many health services at a rapid pace.  However, health service organisations need to ensure their policies and procedures remain consistent with ACORN standards, when deciding to move toward a paperless system.